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St. Hugh, Bishop of Grenoble, Confessor 5 

St. Melito, Bishop of Sardes in Lydia, Confessor 9 

St. Gilbert, Bishop of Caithness, in Scotland 10 


St. Francis of Paula, Confessor 10 

St. Apian, Martyr 16 

St. Theodosia, Virgin and Martyr 17 

St. Nicetius, Archbishop of Lyons and Confessor 18 

St. Ebba, Abbess, and her Companions, Martyrs 18 

B. Constantine II., King and Martyr 19 

St. Bronacha, Virgin and Abbess, in Ireland .... 19 

SS. Agape, Chionia, and Irene, Sisters, and their 

Companions, Martyrs 19 

St. Richard, Bishop and Confessor 22 

St. Ulpian, Martyr 24 

St. Nicetas, Abbot 24 


St. Isidore, Bishop of Seville 25 

St. Plato, Abbot 27 


St. Vincent Ferrer, Confessor 29 

St. Gerald, Abbot 37 

St. Tigernach, Bishop and Confessor, in Ireland. . 37 

St. Becan, Abbot in Ireland 37 


St. Sixtus I., Pope and Martyr 38 

SS. Martyrs of Hadiab, in Persia 39 

St. Celestine, Pope and Confessor 40 

St. William, Abbot of Eskille, Confessor 41 

St. Prudentius, Bishop of Troyes, Confessor 42 

Lives of Rabanus Maurus ; the Jlonk Hincmar ; 
Lupus, Abbot; Amolon, Bishop; Remigius, 

Bishop; and the Deacon Florus 43 

St. Celsus, Bishop in Ireland 45 


St. Aphraates, Anchoret 45 

St. Hegesippus 47 

St. Albert, Recluse 47 

B. Herman Joseph, Confessor 48 

St. Finan of Ireland 49 


St. Dionysius of Corinth, Bishop and Confessor. . 49 

St. jiEdesius, Martyr 51 

St. Perpetuus, Bishop and Confessor 51 

St. Walter, Abbot 52 

B. Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem 53 


St. Mary of Egypt 54 

St. Zosimus, a holy Priest 54 

The Massylitan Martyrs in Africa 58 


St. Eupsychius, Martyr 59 

The Roman Captives in Persia, Martyrs 59 

St. Waltrude, Widow 59 

St. Gaucher, Abbot in Limousin 60 

St. Dotto, Abbot 60 


St. Bademus, Abbot, Martyr 61 

B. Mechtildes, Virgin and Abbess 62 

Another Saint of the same name 63 


St. Leo the Great, Pope 64 

His Writings 70 

St. Antipas, Martyr 72 

St. Guthlake, Hermit, and Patron of the Abbey of 

Croyland 72 

St. Maccai, Abbot 73 

St. Aid, Abbot in Ireland 73 


St. Sabas the Goth, Martyr 74 

St. Zeno, Bishop of Verona, Confessor 77 

His Writings 79 

St. Juhus, Pope and Confessor 80 

St. Victor of J^raga, Martyr 81 


St. Hermenegild, Martyr 81 

St. Guinoch, Bishop and Confessor in Scotland- . 84 
St. Caradoc, Priest and Hermit 84 


SS. Tiburtius, &c.. Martyrs 85 

SS. Carpus, Bishop of Thyatira, in Asia Minor, 
Papylus, his Deacon, and Agathodorus their 

Servant, Martyrs 86 

SS. Antony, John, and Eustachius, Martyrs 86 

St. Benezet, Patron of Avignon 87 

B. Lid wina, Virgin 88 


St. Peter Gonzales, Confessor 89 

SS. Basilissa and Anastasia, Martyrs 92 

St. Paternus, Bishop of Avranches, Confessor . . 92 

St. Mnnde, Abbot 93 

St. Ruadhan, Abbot in Ireland 93 


SS. Martyrs of Saragossa 93 

St. Turibius, Bishop of Astorga 95 

St. Fructuosus, Archbishop of Braga, Confessor 95 

St. Drnon, Recluse * 95 

St. Joachim of Sienna, Confessor 96 

St. Mans, Bishop and Martyr 97 


St. Anicetus, Pope and Martyr 98 

St. Stephen, Abbot of Citeau.x, Confessor 99 




His Writings 102 

St. Simeon, Bishop of Ctesiphon, and his Com- 
panions, Martyrs 103 


St. Apollonius the Apologist, Martyr 108 

St. Galdin, Archbishop of Milan, Confessor 110 

St. Laserian, Bishop of Leighlin, in Ireland 111 


St. Leo IX., Pope and Confessor 112 

Life and Writings of Berengarius 113 

St. Elphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, MartjT 117 

St. El phege, siirnamed the Bald, Bishop 119 

St. Ursmar, Bishop and Abbot 119 

St. Agnes, of Monte Pulciano, Virgin and Abbess 120 

St. Serf, Bishop 12] 

St. James, of Sclavonia, or Illyricum, Confessor 121 

St. Anselra, Archbishop of Canterbury, Confes- 
sor 122 

Ven. Abbot Herluin 122 

Life and Writings of Lanfranc, Archbishop of 

Canterbury 123 

On the Writings of St. Anselm 128 

St. Anastasius the Sinaite, Anchoret 130 

St. Anastasius I., Patriarch of Antioch 130 

St. Anastasius, surnamed the Younger, Patriarch 

of Antioch, Martyr 131 

St. Beuno, Abbot of Clynnog, in Caernarvon- 
shire, Confessor 131 

St. Eingan, Confessor 133 

St. Mafrubius, Martyr 133 


SS. Soter and Caius, Popes, Martyrs 134 

SS. Azades, Tharba, and many others. Martyrs 

in Persia 135 

SS. Epipndius and Alexander, MnrtjTS at Lyons 136 

St. Theodorus of Siceon, Bishop and Confessor 138 

St. Opportuna, Virgin and Abbess 139 

St. Leonides, Martyr 140 

Life and Writings of Origen 140 

St. Eufus, Anchoret, atClendaloch in Ireland • • 143 


St. George, Martyr 144 

St. Adalbert, Bishop of Prague, Martyr 146 

St. Gerard, Bishop of Toul, Confessor 148 

St. Ibar, Bishop of Ireland 150 

■^4. PAGE 

St. Fidelis of Sigmarengen, Martyr 151 

St. Mellitus, Archbishop of Canterbury, Confes- 
sor 153 

SS. Bona and Doda, Virgins and Abbesses 154 

B. Robert, Abbot ]54 


St. Mark, Evangelist 15.5 

St. MacuU, of Ireland, Confessor 158 

St. Anianus, Bishop of Alexandria 159 

St. Phiebadius, Bishop and Confessor 159 

St. Ivia, Bishop 160 

St. Kebius, Bishop 160 


SS. Cletus and Marcellinus, Popes and Mart\'rs 161 

St. Richarius, Abbot .'.. 162 

St. Paschasius Radbert, Abbot and Confessor . . 163 
His Writings 163 


St. Anthimus, Bishop, and many others, Mar- 
tyrs at iS'icomudia 165 

St. Anastisius, Pope and Confessor 169 

St. Zita, Virgin 170 


St. VitEilis, Martyr 172 

SS. Didymus and Theodora, Martyrs 173 

St. Polljo, Lector, and his Companions, Martyrs 

in Pannonia '. 176 

St. Cronan. Abbot in Ireland 177 

St. Patricius, Bishop of Prusa, in Bithynia, 

Martyr 177 


St. Peter, Martyr 179 

St. Robert, Abbot of Molesme 182 

St. Hugh, Abbot and Confessor 186 

St. Fiachna, Confessor in Ireland 186 


St. Catharine of Sienna, Virgin 187 

St. Maximus, Martyr 193 

St. Sophia, Virgin and Martyr 194 

SS. James, Marian, and Companions, Martyrs 

in Numidia 194 

St. Erkonwald, Bishop of London, Confessor .. 196 
St. Ajutre, Confessor 197 



From his life, written two years after his decease, bv his intimate friend Guigo, fifth prior of the great 
Chartreuse, by the order of pope Innocent II. Bollandus ad Apr. 1, p. 36, Mabillon, Annal. 1. 6(>, n. 34. 
Pa«!i ad An. 1080. Hist. Litt6r. de la France, t. 11, p. 149. 

A. D. 1132. 

The first tincture of the mind is of the utmost importance to virtue ; and 
it was the happiness of this saint to receive from his cradle the strongest 
impressions of piety by the example and care of his illustrious and holy 
parents. He was born at Chateau-neuf, in the territory of Valence, in 
Dauphine, in 1053. His father, Odilo, served his country in an honorable 
post in the army, in which he acquitted himself of his duty to his prince 
with so much the greater fidelity and valor, as he most ardently endeavored 
to sanctify his profession and all his actions by a motive of religion. Be- 
ing sensible that all authority which men receive over others is derived from 
God, with an obligation that they employ it, in the first place, for the ad- 
vancement of the divine honor, he labored, by all the means in his power, to 
make his soldiers faithful servants of their Creator, and by severe punish- 
ments to restrain vices, those especially of impurity and lying. By the ad- 
vice of his son, St. Hugh, he afterwards became a Carthusian monk, when 
he was upwards of fourscore years old, and lived eighteen years in great 
humility and austerity, under St. Bruno and his successors, in the great 
Chartreuse, where he died, one hundred years old, having received extreme- 
unction and the viaticum from the hands of his son. Our saint likewise 
assisted, in her last moments, his mother, who had for many years, under 
his direction, served God in her own house, by prayer, fasting, and plente- 
ous almsdeeds. Hugh, from the cradle, appeared to be a child of benedic- 
tion. He went through his studies with great applause, and his progress in 
piety always kept pace with his advancement in learning. Having chosen 
to serve God in an ecclesiastical state, that he might always dwell in his 
house and be occupied in his praises, he accepted a canonry in the cathedral 
of Valence. In this station, the sanctity of his life, and his extraordinary 
talents, rendered him the ornament of that church ; and the gentleness and 
affability of his deportment won him the affection of all his colleagues. He 
was tall, and very comely, but naturally exceeding bashful ; and such was 
his modesty, that for some time he found means to conceal his learning and 
eloquence : nevertheless, his humility served only to show afterwards those 
talents to more advantage and with greater lustre. For no virtue shines 
brighter with learning than modesty, as nothing renders scholars more odi- 
ous or despicable than haughtiness and pride, which they discover by their 
obstinacy and clamors, by the contempt with which they treat those who 
dissent from them in opinion, and by their ostentatious pedantry in embra- 

G s. HUGH, B. c. [April 1. 

cing every occasion of exhibiting their supposed superior wit and extraordi- 
nary parts. 

Hugh, then bishop of Die, but soon after archbishop of Lyons, and also 
cardinal legate of the holy see, was so charmed at first sight of the saint, 
when he happened to come to Valence, that he would not be contented till 
he had taken the good man into his household. He employed him in extir- 
pating simony, and in many other affairs of importance. In 1080, the legate 
Hugh held a synod at Avignon, in which he took under consideration the 
desolate condition and the grievous disorders into which the church of 
Grenoble was sunk, through the sloth and bad example of its late mercenary 
pastor. The eyes of the legate and of the whole council were fixed on St. 
Hugh as the person best qualified, by his virtue and prudence, to reform 
these abuses, and restore the ancient glory of that church ; and with them 
the voice of the whole city conspired. But his reluctance and fears were 
not to be overcome, till he was compelled by the repeated commands of the 
legate and council. The legate took our newly-appointed bishop with him 
to Rome, in order to his receiving the episcopal consecration from the hands 
of Gregory VH., who then sat in the chair of St. Peter. The servant of 
God was glad of this opportunity of consulting the vicar of Christ concern- 
ing his own conscience ; for during a great part of his life he had been ex- 
tremely molested with troublesome temptations of importunate blasphemous 
thoughts against the divine providence. Pope Gregory, who was a man 
very well versed in the interior trials of souls, assured him that this angel 
of Satan was permitted by God, in his sweet mercy, to buffet him only for 
his trial and crown : which words exceedingly comforted the saint, and en- 
couraged him to bear his cross with patience and joy. A devout soul, under 
this trial, which finds these suggestions always painful and disagreeable, 
ought not to lose courage ; for by patience and perseverance she exceeding- 
ly multiplies her crowns, and glorifies God, who has laid it upon her shoul- 
ders, and who will, when he sees fit, scatter these mists, and on a sudden 
translate her from this state of bitterness and darkness into the region of 
light, joy, and the sweetest peace. St. Hugh prayed earnestly to be freed 
from this enemy, but received for a long time the same answer with St 
Paul.' In the mean while, his patience and constancy were his victory and 
his crown : and assiduous meditation on the sufferings of our divine Re- 
deemer, who was made for us a man of sorrows, was his comfort and sup- 

The pious countess Maud would needs be at the whole charge of the cere- 
mony of his consecration : she also gave him a crosier and other episcopal 
ornaments, with a small library of suitable books, earnestly desirmg to be 
instructed by his good counsels, and assisted by his prayers. St. Hugh, af- 
ter his ordination, hastened to his flock ; but, being arrived at Grenoble, 
could not refrain his tears, and was exceedingly atflicted and terrified when 
he saw the diocese overrun with tares which the enemy had sown while the 
pastor slept. He found the people in general immersed in a profound igno- 
rance of several essential duties of religion, and plunged in vice and immo- 
ra\ity. Some sins seemed by custom to have lost their name, and men com- 
mitted them without any scruple or sign of remorse. The negligence and 
backwardness of many in frequenting the sacraments, indicated a total decay i 
of piety, and could not fail introducing many spiritual disorders in their souls, 
especially a great lukewarmness in prayer and other religious duties. Si- 
mony and usury seemed, under specious disguises, to be accounted innocent, 
and to reign almost without control. Many lands belonging to the church 

1 2 Cor. sii. 9. 

April 1.] s. hugh, b. c. 

were usurped bjif^aymen ; and the revenues of the bishopric were dissipa- 
ted, so that the saint, upon his arrival, found nothing either to enable him to 
assist the poor, or to supply his own necessities, unless he would have had 
recourse to unlawful contracts, as had been the common practice of many 
others, but which he justly deemed iniquitous ; nor would he by any means 
defile his soul with them. He set himself in earnest to reprove vice, and 
reform abuses. To this purpose he endeavored by rigorous fasts, watch- 
ings, tears, sighs, and prayer, to draw down the divine mercy on his flock. 
And so plentiful was the benediction of heaven upon his labors, that he had 
the comfort to see the face of his diocese in a short time exceedingly 
changed. After two years, imitating therein the humility of some other 
saints, he privately resigned his bishopric, presuming on the tacit consent of 
the holy see. And putting on the habit of St. Bennet, he entered upon a 
novitiate in the austere abbey of Chaise-Dieu, or Casa-Dei, in Auvergne, 
of the reformation of Cluni. There he lived a year a perfect model of all vir- 
tues to that house of saints, till pope Gregory VII. commanded him, in virtue 
of holy obedience, to resume his pastoral charge. Coming out of his soli- 
tude, like another Moses descending from the conversation of God on the 
mountain, he announced the divine law with greater zeal and success than 
ever. The author of his life assures us that he was an excellent and assid- 
uous preacher. 

St. Bruno and his six companions addressed themselves to him for his 
advice in their pious design of forsaking the world, and he appointed them 
a desert which was in his diocese, whither he conducted them in 1084. It 
is a frightful solitude, called the Chartreuse, or Carthusian mountains, in 
Dauphine, v/hich place gave name to the famous order St. Bruno founded 
there. The meek and pious behavior of these servants of God took deep 
root in the heart of our holy pastor ; and it was his delight frequently to visit 
them in their solitude, to join them in their exercises and austerities, and 
perform the meanest offices amongst them, as an outcast and one unworthy 
to bear them company. Sometimes the charms of contemplation detained 
him so long in his hermitage, that St. Bruno was obliged to order him to go 
to his flock, and acquit himself of the duties which he owed them. He be- 
ing determined to sell his horses for the benefit of the poor, thinking himself 
able to perform the visitation of his diocese on foot, St. Bruno, to whose ad- 
vice he paid an implicit deference, opposed his design, urging that he had 
not strength for such an undertaking. For the last forty years of his life he 
was afflicted with almost continual headaches, and pains in the stomach ; 
he also suff'ered the most severe interior temptations. Yet God did not 
ledve him entirely destitute of comfort ; but frequently visited his soul with 
heavenly sweetness and sensible spiritual consolations, which filled his heart 
under his afflictions with interior joy. The remembrance of the divine love, 
or of his own and others' spiritual miseries, frequently produced a flood of 
tears from his eyes, which way soever he turned them ; nor was he able 
sometimes to check them in company or at table, especially while he heard 
the holy scriptures read. In hearing confessions, he frequently mingled his 
tears with those of his penitents, or first excited theirs by his own. At his 
sermons it was not unusual to see the whole audience melt into tears to- 
gether ; and some were so strongly affected, that they confessed their sins 
publicly on the spot. After sermon, he was detained very long in hearing 
confessions. He often cast himself at the feet of others, to entreat them to 
pardon injuries, or to make some necessary satisfaction to their neighbors. 
His love of heavenly things made all temporal affairs seem to him burden- 
some and tedious. Women he would never look in the face, so that he 
knew not the features of his own mother. He never loved to hear or relate 

8 s. HUGH, B. c. [April 1. 

public news or reports, for fear of detraction, or at least djldissipation. His 
constant pensioners and occasional alms (in the latter of which he was ex- 
tremely bountiful) were very expensive to him : insomuch, that though, in 
order to relieve the poor, he had long denied himself every thing that seem- 
ed to have the least appearance of superfluity, still, for the extending his 
beneficent inclination, he even sold, in the time of famine, a gold chalice, 
and part of his episcopal ornaments, as gold rings and precious stones. And 
the happy consequence of St. Hugh's example this way was, that the rich 
were moved by it to bestow of their treasures to the necessitous, whereby the 
wants of all the poor of his diocese were supplied. 

He earnestly solicited pope Innocent H. for leave to resign his bishopric, 
that he might die in solitude ; but was never able to obtain his request.* 
God was pleased to purify his soul by a lingering illness before he called 
him to himself. Some time before his death, he lost his memory for every 
thing but his prayers : the psalter and the Lord's prayer he recited with 
great devotion, almost without intermission : and he was said to have re- 
peated the last three hundred times in one night. Being told that so con- 
stant an attention would increase his distemper, he said : " It is quite other- 
wise : by prayer I always find myself stronger." In the time of sickness, a 
certain frowardness and peevishness of disposition is what the best of us are 
too apt to give way to, through weakness of nature and a temptation of the 
enemy, who seeks to deprive a dying person of the most favorable advan- 
tages of penance and patience, and to feed and strengthen self-love in the 
soul while upon the very cross itself, and in the crucible into which she is 
thrown by a singular mercy, in order to her coming forth refined and pure. 
In this fiery trial, the virtue of the saints shows itself genuine, and endued 
with a fortitude which renders it worthy its crown. By the same test is 
pretended virtue discovered : self-love can no longer disguise itself: it cries 
out, murmurs, frets, and repines : the mask which the hypocrite wore is here 
pulled otF: saints, on the contrary, under every degree of torture cruelty 
can invent, preserve a happy patience and serenity of soul. Hence the devil 
would not allow the virtue of Job to be sincere before it had been approved 
imder sickness and bodily pain.^ St. Hugh left us by his invincible patience 
a proof of the fervor of his charity. Under the sharpest pains, he never let 
fall one Avord of complaint, nor mentioned what he suff'ered : his whole con- 
cern seemed only to be for others. When any assisted him, he expressed 
the greatest confusion and thankfulness : if he had given the least trouble to 
any one, he would beg to receive the discipline, and because no one would 
give it him, would confess his fault, as he called it, and implore the divine 
mercy with tears. The like sentiments we read in the relation of the deaths 
of many holy monks of La Trappe. Dom. Bennet, under the most racking 
pains, when turned in his bed, said : " You lay me too much at my ease." 
Dom. Charles would not cool his mouth with a little water in the raging 
heat of a violent fever. Such examples teach us at least to blush at and 
condemn our murmurs and impatience under sickness. The humility of St. 
Hugh was the more surprising, because every one approached him with the 
greatest reverence and affection, and thought it a happiness if they were al- 
lowed in any thing to serve him. It was his constant prayer, in which he 
begged his dear Carthusians and all others to join him, that God would ex- 
tinguish in his heart all attachment to creatures, that his pure love might 
reign in all his affections. One said to him : " Why do you weep so bit- 

2 Job xi. 5. 

* St. Hugh is ranked among ecclesiastical writers, chiefly on account of his Chartulary, or Collection 
of Charters, with curious historical remarks, kept in MS. at Grenoble : from which Dom. Maur. d' Antine 
has borrowed many things in his new edition of i)u Cange's Glossary, &c. 

April 1.] 

S. MELITO, B. c. 


terly, who never offended God by any wilful crime 1" He replied : " Vanity 
and inordinate affections suffice to damn a soul. It is only through the di- 
vine mercy that we can hope to b§ saved, and shall we ever cease to im- 
plore it?" If any one spoke of news in his presence, he checked them, 
saying : " This life is all given us for weeping and penance, not for idle 
discourses." He closed his penitential course on the 1st of April, in 1132, 
wanting only two months of being eighty years old, of which he had been 
fifty-two years bishop. Miracles attested the sanctity of his happy death ; 
and he was canonized by Innocent II., in 1134. 

There is no saint who was not a lover of retirement and penance. Shall 
we not learn from them to shun the tumult of the world, as much as our cir- 
cumstances will allow, and give ourselves up to the exercises of holy soli- 
tude, prayer, and pious reading. Holy solitude is the school of heavenly 
doctrine, where fervent souls study a divine science, which is learned by 
experience, not by the discourses of others. Here they learn to know God 
and themselves ; they disengage their affections from the world, and burn 
and reduce to ashes all that can fasten their hearts to it. Here they give 
earthly things for those of heaven, and goods of small value for those of in- 
estimable price. In blessed solitude, a man repairs in his soul the image 
of his Creator, which was effaced by sin, and, by the victory which he gains 
over his passions, is in some degree freed from the corruption of his nature, 
and restored in some measure to the state of its integrity and innocence by 
the ruin of vice, and the establishment of all virtues in his affections ; so 
that, by a wonderful change wrought in his soul, he becomes a new crea- 
ture, and a terrestrial angel. His sweet repose and his employments 
are also angelical, being of the same nature with those of the blessed in 
heaven. By the earnest occupation of the powers of his soul on God and 
in God, or in doing his will, he is continually employed in a manner infinitely 
more excellent and mor6 noble than he could be in governing all the empires 
of the world ; and in a manner which is far preferable to all the vain occu- 
pations of the greatest men of the world during the whole course of their 
lives. Moreover, in the interior exercises of this state, a soul receives cer- 
tain antepasts of eternal felicity, by which she intimately feels how sweet 
God is, and learns to have no relish for any thing but for him alone. my 
friends, cried out a certain pious contemplative, 1 take leave of you with 
these words, and this feeling invitation of the Psalmist : Co?ne, taste your- 
selves, and see hy your own experience hoto sweet the Lord is. But these and 
other privileges and precious advantages only belong to the true solitary, 
who joins interior to exterior solitude, is never warped by sloth or remiss- 
ness, gives no moments to idleness, uses continual violence to himself, in or- 
der perfectly to subdue his passions, watches constantly over his senses, is 
penetrated to the heart with the wholesome sadness of penance, has death 
always before his eyes, is always taken up in the exercises of compunction, 
the divine praises, love, adoration, and thanksgiving, and is raised above the 
earth and all created things by the ardor of his desires of being united to God, 
the sovereign good. 



To that emperor, in 17.^, he addressed an elegant and modest apology for 
the faith. From an eminent spirit of prophecy with which he was en- 

VoL. II— 2 


dued by God, he was surnamed The Prophet, as St. Jerom' and Eusebius 


Having administered that see with great sanctity for twenty years, he 
died on the 1st of April, 1240. See the Aberdeen Breviary. 




From the bull of his canonization, and the memnirs relating to it, wiih the notes of Papebroke, 1. 1, Apr. 
]). 103. also Philip Cnmmincs, b. 6, c. 8. See Le Fevre, Cnnt. of Fleurj-, b. llo, n. Ill, 120, 144. He- 
lyot, Flist. de.s Ord. Ilelig. t. 9, p. 426. Giry, a provincial of his order, in his Lives of Saints, and in a 
particular dissertation : and De Coste, of the same order, in his judicious and accurate lite of this saint, 
in quarto. 

A. D. 1508. 

This saint was born about the year 1416, at Paula, a small city near the 
Tyrrhenian sea, in Calabria, the midway from Naples to Reggio. His pa- 
rents were very poor, but industrious, and happy in their condition, making 
the will and love of God the sole object of all their desires and endeavors. 
Their whole conduct was, as it were, one straight line directed to this point. 
Having lived together several years without issue, they earnestly begged of 
God, through the intercession of St. Francis of Assisium, a son who might 
faithfully and assiduously serve him, and become an instrument to glorify 
his name, to whose service they solemnly devoted him. A son some time 
after this was born, whom they considered as the fruit of their prayers, 
named him after their patron, St. Francis, and made it their chief care to 
inspire him with pious sentiments, and give him au education suitable to his 
holy destination. Francis, while yet a child, made abstinence, solitude, and 
prayer his delight. In the thirteenth year of his age, his father, whose 
name was James Martotille, placed him in the convent of Franciscan friars 
at St. Mark's, an episcopal town of that province, where he learned to read, 
and laid the foundation of the austere life which he ever after led. He, 
from that time, denied himself all use of linen and flesh meat ; and though 
he had not professed the rule of that order, he seemed, even in that tender 
age, to surpass all the religious in a scrupulous observance of every thing 
prescribed by it. Having spent one year here, he performed, with his pa- 
rents, a pilgrimage to Assisium, the Portiuncula, and Rome. "When he was 
returned to Paula, with their consent, he retired to a lonesome solitude about 
half a mile from the town : and, to avoid the distraction of vishs, he shortly 
after chose a more remote retreat in the corner of a rock upon the sea-coast, 
where he made himself a cave. He was scarce fifteen years old when he 
shut himself up in this hermitage, in 1432. He had no other bed than the 
rock itself, nor other food than the herbs which he gathered in the neigh- 
boring wood, or what was sometimes brought hira by his friends. Before 
he was quite twenty years old»two other devoutly inclined persons joined 

1 Catal. c. 24. 2 Eus. b. 4, Hist. c. 26, b. 5, c. 24. 

April 2.] s. francis of paula, c. 11 

him, imitating his holy exercises. The neighbors built them three cells and 
a chapel, in which they sung the divine praises, and a certain priest from 
the parish church came, and said mass for them. This is reputed the first 
foundation of his religious order, in 1436. Near seventeen years after, 
their number being much increased, with the approbation of the archbishop 
of Cosenza, a large church and monastery were built for them in the same 
place, towards the year 1454. So great was the devotion of the people, 
that the whole country joined, and all hands were set to this work ; even 
noblemen would share in carrying burdens. During the erection of this 
building, our saint performed several miracles. Among others, a person 
deposed upon oath, in the process of the saint's canonization, that he himself 
was healed in an instant of a painful lameness in his thigh, by the prayer 
of the servant of God. When the house was completed, he applied himself 
to establish regularity and uniformity in his community, not abating in the 
least of his former severity with regard to himself. His bed was no longer 
indeed the rock, but it was a board, or the bare floor, with a stone or log of 
wood for his pillow, till, in his old age, he made use of a mat. He allowed 
himself no more sleep than was absolutely necessary to refresh weary na- 
ture, and to enable him to resume his devout exercises with greater vigor. 
He took but one repast a day, in the evening, and usually nothing but bread 
and water. vSometimes he passed two days without taking any food, espe- 
cially before great festivals. 

Penance, charity, and humility he laid down for the groundwork and ba- 
sis of his rule. He obliged his followers to observe a perpetual Lent, and 
always to abstain not only from flesh, but also from all white meats, or food 
made of milk, such as cheese, butter, &c., also from eggs, all which the an- 
cient canons ibrbid in Lent. In order more eftectually to enforce obedience 
to this injunction, he prescribed a fourth vow, by which every religious of 
his order binds himself to observe it. His intention in enjoining this per- 
petual abstinence was to repair, in some sort, the abuses of Lent among 
Christians. He always lamented to see that holy fast so much relaxed by 
the mitigations which the church has been obliged to tolerate, in condescen- 
sion to the lukewarmness of the generality of her children. He hoped also, 
by example, to open the eyes of the rest of the faithful, to whom the sight 
of such a perpetual Lent, compared to their remissness in one of only forty 
days, might be a continual reproach and silent preaching, perhaps more 
effectual than by words. The saint took charity for the motto and symbol 
of his order, to show it was to be its soul, and its most distinguishing char- 
acteristic, whereby to signify the intimate union of all its members, not only 
with one another, but with all the faithful, by their ardent love of God, that 
divine flame which glowed so warmly in his own breast, and which he 
eagerly endeavored to kindle in all others. Humility, however, was his 
darling virtue. The greater he was before God, and the more he was dis- 
tinguished in the sight of heaven, the less he appeared in his own eyes ; 
and the more he was exalted among men, honored and reverenced by popes 
and kings, the more earnestly did he study to live concealed and to debase 
himself beneath all creatures. It was his fondness for living concealed, 
unknown, and entirely forgotten by all men, that inspired him with the de- 
sign in his earliest years of burying himself in a desert ; in which part of 
his life, we know nothing of his sublime contemplations and his heavenly 
raptures, or of his severe penance, emulating the Eliases and the Baptists, 
because he sought to live hidden from the eyes of men, according to that 
maxim of true humility. Love to be unknown ; nor did he only seek to con- 
ceal himself and draw a veil over his other virtues, but also over his humil- 
ity itself. An humility which sets itself forth with an exterior show of 


piety, whicli draws respect, and receives honor, is generally false ; only the 
shadow of that virtue, and in reality a subtle, refined pride. At least it is 
always dangerous, and much to be suspected. But the humility of Francis 
was both true and secure, because hidden. When God discovered him to 
the world, the saint conversed with it so as always to retain the same spirit. 
Not yet twenty years old, he was the legislator and oracle of all who ap- 
proached him; yet he was no ways elated on this account ; he assumed noth- 
ing to himself, and professed that he knew nothing save Jesus Christ cru- 
cified, and that there is no virtue, no happiness, but in knowing our own 
littleness, and in being humble of heart with our divine Master. By this 
humility he was filled with the spirit of God, and by a wonderful prodigy 
of grace, at nineteen years of age, became the founder of an eminent reli- 
gious order. Other orders have tbeir principal end and distinguishing char- 
acters ; some being remarkable for their poverty, others for austerity, others 
for prayer, holy zeal, &c. That of St. Francis of Paula eminently includes 
all the above-mentioned ; but to show his value for humility, which he most 
earnestly recommended to his followers as the ground of all Christian vir- 
tues, he gave them a name that might express it, and begged of the pope, 
as a singular privilege, that his religious might be called Minims, to signify 
that they were the least in the house of God. Moreover, as in every com- 
munity there must be a supreme, St. Francis would have the superior of 
each house in his order called Corrector, to put him in continual remem- 
brance that he is only the servant of all the rest, according to that of Luke 
xxii.. He who is greater anions you, let him he as the least. But the more 


this saint humbled himself, the more did God exalt him. 

The archbishop of Cosenza approved the rule and order of this holy 
man, in 1471. Pope Sixtus IV. confirmed it by a bull, dated the 23d of 
May, in 1474, and established Francis superior-general. This order was 
then chiefly composed of laymen, with a few clerks, and only one priest, 
Balthasar de Spino, doctor of laws, afterwards confessor to Innocent VIII. 
About the year 1476, the saint founded another convent at Paterno, on the 
gulf of Tarentum ; and a third at Spezza, in the diocese of Cosenza. In 
the year 1479, being invited into Sicily, he was received there as an angel 
from heaven, wrought miracles, and built several monasteries in that island, 
where he continued a whole year. Being returned into Calabria, in 1480, 
he built another at Corigliano, in the diocese of Rossano. Ferdinand, king 
of Naples, provoked at some wholesome advice the saint had given him and 
his two sons, Alphonsus, duke of Calabria, and John, cardinal of Aragon, 
persecuted him : but his third son, Frederick, prince of Tarentum, was his 
friend. The king, alleging that he had built monasteries without the royal 
assent, ordered a messenger to apprehend him at Paterno, and bring him 
prisoner to Naples. But the officer, approaching to seize his person, was 
so moved at his humility, and the readiness with which he disposed himself 
to follow him, that, struck with awe, he returned to Naples, and dissuaded 
the king from attempting any thing against the servant of God. The holy 
man was favored with an eminent spirit of prophecy. He foretold to several 
persons, in the years 1447, 1448, and 1449, the taking of Constantinople 
by the Turks, which happened on the 29th of May, in 1453, under the com- 
maiid of Mahomet II., when Constantine Palsologus, the last Christian 
emperor, was slain, fighting tumultuously in the streets. He also foretold that 
Otranto, one of the most important places and keys of the kingdom of Naples, 
would fall into the hands of the same infidels, three months before Achmat 
Bacha surprised it on the last day of August, 1480, to the great consterna- 
tion of Italy and all Europe. But the servant of God promised the Chris- 
tians, especially the pious John, count of Arena, one of the generals of 

April 2.] 



Ferdinand I., king of Naples, certain success the year following, when they 
recovered that city, and drove the infidels out of Italy, their victory being 
facilitated by the death of the Turkish emperor, and a civil war between 
the two brothers, Bajazet II. and Zizimes. The authentic depositions of 
many unexceptionable witnesses, given with all the formalities which both 
the civil and canon law require, prove these and many other illustrious pre- 
dictions of the holy man, on several public and private occasions,* with 
regard to the kings of Naples, Ferdinand I., and Alphonsus II., and Louisa 
. of Savoy, countess, afterwards duchess of Angouleme, mother of king 
Francis I. in France, and many others. Lawrence, bishop of Grenoble, 
of the most noble house of Alemans, in Dauphine, uncle to the most valiant 
and pious captain De Bayard,t in his letter to pope Leo X. for the canoni- 
zation of St. Francis, writes : " Most holy Father, he revealed to me many 
things which were known only to God and myself." In 1469, pope Paul 
II. sent one of his chamberlains, an ecclesiastic of the noble family of 
Adorno in Genoa, into Calabria, to inform himself of the truth of the won- 
derful things that were related of the saint. The chamberlain addressed 
himself to the vigilant archbishop of Cosenza, who assured him, from his 
own intimacy with the saint, of his sincere virtue and extraordinary sanc- 
tity, and sent one of his ecclesiastics, named Charles Pyrrho, a canon of 
Cosenza, a man of great learning and probity, to attend him to Paula. This 
Pyrrho had been himself healed, ten years before, of a violent toothache 
by the man of God touching his cheek with his hand, (of which the au- 
thentic depositions are extant,) and had from that time frequently visited 
him. The saint was at work, according to his custom, among the masons 
who were laying the foundation of his church ; but seeing two strangers 
coming towards him, left his work, and came to meet them. He made them 
a low obeisance ; and when the chamberlain offered to kiss his hand, ac- 
cording to the Italian custom of saluting priests and religious men, he would 
by no means allow it, and falling on his knees, said he was bound to kiss 
his hands, which God had consecrated for the thirty years he had said 
mass. The chamberlain was exceedingly struck at his answer, hearing 
him, who was an entire stranger to his person, tell him so exactly how long 
he had been a priest ; but concealing himself and his commission, desired 
to converse with him in his convent. The chamberlain, who was a very 
eloquent man, made him a long discourse, in which, to try his virtue, he 
censured his institute as too austere, spoke much on the illusions and dan- 
gers to which extraordinary and miraculous gifts are liable, and exhorted 
him to walk in ordinary paths, trodden by eminent servants of God. The 
saint answered his objections with great modesty and humility ; but seeing 
him not yet satisfied, he went to the fire, and taking out some burning coals, 
held them a considerable time in his hand without receiving any harm, 
saying : " All creatures obey those who serve God with a perfect heart." 
Which golden words are inserted by Leo X. in the bull of his canonization. 
The chamberlain returned to Cosenza full of veneration for the holy man, 
and told both the archbishop and his holiness at his return to Rome, that 
the sanctity of Francis was greater than his reputation in the world. A 
youth, nephew to the saint, being dead, his mother, the saint's own sister, 
applied to him for comfort, and filled his apartment with lamentations. After 
the mass and divine office had been said for the repose of his soul, St. 
Francis ordered the corpse to be carried from the church into his cell, where 
he ceased not to pray till, to her great astonishment, he had restored him 
to life and presented him to her in perfect health. The young man entered 

* See many of these depositions in De Coste, part 2, and BoUandus. 
t Siirnamed Le Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche. 




[April 2. 

his order, and is the celebrated Nicholas Alesso who afterwards followed 
his uncle into France, and was famous for sanctity and many great 

Louis XL, king of France, a prince perhaps the most absolute, the most 
tenacious of his authority, jealous of his prerogative, and impatient of con- 
trol, that ever wore that crown, after an apoplectic fit fell into a lingering 
decay.' Never had any man a stronger passion for life, or a greater dread 
of the very thoughts of death. Such was his frowardness and impatience, 
that every one trembled to approach him : nor durst any ask him a favor. 
He gave his physician ten thousand crowns a month, as long as he should 
prolong his life, and stood in the greatest awe of him. He shut himself 
up in his palace or castle of Plessis-les-Tours, near the city of Tours. 
Jesters, buffoons, and dancers were employed to divert his melancholy and 
peevishness, but in vain. He ordered prayers, processions, and pilgrimages 
for his heakh, and even against the north-wind, which he found injurious to 
him, and he caused holy relics from the remotest places to be brought to 
Plessis, into his chamber. His distemper still increasing, he sent an am- 
bassador to our holy hermit in Calabria, begging he would come to see him, 
and restore his health, making the greatest promises to serve both him and 
his order. Hearing that the man of God would not be prevailed on by his 
promises to comply with liis request, he entreated Ferdinand king of Naples 
to send him. Francis answered positively, that he could not tempt God, or 
undertake a voyage of a thousand miles to work a miracle, which was a-sked 
upon low and merely human motives. Louis did not yet desist, but desired 
the pope to interpose in favor of his request. Sixtus IV., by two briefs, 
commanded Francis immediately to repair to the king. Hereupon the obe- 
dient saint, without delay, set out and passed through Naples, where he 
was exceedingly honored by king Ferdinand. He took also Rome in his 
way, where he was treated with the highest distinction by the pope and 
cardinals. Embarking at Ostia, he landed in France, and cured many sick 
of the plague, in Provence, as he passed. Louis, in great joy, gSive a purse 
of ten thousand crowns to him who brought the first news of the saint's 
arrival in his dominions, and sent the dauphin, with the principal lords of 
his court, to meet him at Amboise, and to conduct him to his palace. The 
saint arrived at Plessis on the 24th of April in 1482. The king went out 
to meet him, attended with all his court, and falling on his knees, conjured 
him to obtain of God the prolongation of his life. St. Francis told him, no 
wise man ought to entertain such a desire. To which he added this useful 
lesson, that the lives of kings had their appointed limits no less than those 
of his meanest subjects, that God's decree was unchangeable, and that there 
remained nothing to be done but for his majesty to resign himself to the 

1 Commines, b. 6, c. 7, 8, 12 ; Mezeray, &c. 

* This miracle may be read, with a detail of the circumstances, in the life of this saiirt, by F. Giry. 
Among other testimonies in confirmatiim of it, BolJandus produces the following extracts: 

Ex processu facto in Castellione. SSmo ac Brno Uno Leoni X. Loysius de Agno, Baro Castellionis, &c. 
Die 27 Nov. An. 1516, de prodigiis Beati Viri talia qua; subsequuntur, coram nobis a subinsertis testibus 
recitata et enarrata fuerunt. 

D. Petrus de Paula, Consentinus, TerrfE Castellioni Prietor, retulit quod Nicolaus nepos beati viri fuit ab 
ipso in Paula resuscitatus ; et hoc mlraculum est vulgatum in Calabria, et potissimum in Casalibus civi- 
tatis Consentince. 

Ex processu facto in terra Xiliani. Supplicatur sanctitati vestrae pro parte syndicorum et magistrornm 
juratorum universitatis, et hujusmodi pertinentiarimi terris Xiliani Disc. Marthuranie. — 

After several other miracles, related with the certificates of the witnesses upon oath, is added, n. 88 : 

Donna Andiana deponit per dictum sui patris, qualiler pater ejus vidit nepotem Fr. Franeisci deportatum 
ad eum mortuum de duobus diebus, et vidit ipsum resuscitatum in conventu Paterni. 

This nephew, Nicholas d' Alesso, was son of Andrew d'Alesso. The author of the life of St. Francis 
of Paula, who was a religious man of the saint's own convent, and lived many years with him at Panla, 
speaks of this miracle as happening before the year 1460. Six other persons are related to have been 
raised from death by this saint: the authentic proofs of which, and many other miracles, may be seen in 
the BoUandists, and in De Coste's life of this saint. 

April 2.] 



divine will, and prepare for a happy death. The king gave orders that he 
should be lodged in an apartment in his palace, near the chapel, and assigned 
him an interpreter. St. Francis often spoke to his majesty both in private 
and before his courtiers, and always with such wisdom, though a man with- 
out learning, that Philip Commines, who frequently heard him, says that 
all present were persuaded the Holy Ghost spoke by his mouth. By his 
prayers and exhortations he effected a perfect change in the king's heart, 
who, having recommended to him his three children, and the repose of his 
soul, died in his arms, perfectly resigned, on the 30th of August, in 1483. 

King Charles VIII. honored the saint even more than his father Louis 
had done ; would do nothing in the affairs of his conscience, or even in 
those of the state, without his advice ; visited him every day as long as he 
stayed at Plessis, standing before him as a disciple, and engaged him to 
stand godfather to his son the dauphin, to whom he gave the name of our 
saint. He built for him a beautiful convent in the park of Plessis, in a 
place called Montils : and another at Amboise, and upon the very spot 
where he met him when he was dauphin : and going to Rome in 1495, 
where he made a triumphant entry, and was saluted emperor of Constanti- 
nople by pope Alexander VI., he built there, on Mount Pincio, a stately 
monastery for this order, under the name of the Blessed Trinity, in which 
none but Frenchmen can be admitted. In his reign the saint founded the 
convent of Nigeon, near Paris, on which occasion two doctors, who had 
violently opposed the institute before the bishop of Paris, were so moved 
by the sight of the saint at Plessis, that they entered his order in 1506. 
Pope Julius II. again approved the rule, in which the saint had made some 
alterations. King Charles VIII. dying in 1498, Louis XII. succeeded him. 
He at first gave the saint leave to return to Italy ; but quickly recalled it, 
and heaped honors and benefactions on all his relations. St. Francis spent 
the three last months of his life within his cell, to prepare himself for a 
happy death, denying himself all communication with m.ankind, that noth- 
ing might divert his thoughts from death and eternity. He fell sick of a 
fever on Palm-Sunday, in 1506. On Maundy-Thursday he assembled all 
his religious in the sacristy, and exhorted them to the love of God, charity 
with one another and with all men, and to a punctual observance of all the 
duties of their rule. After having made his confession, he communicated 
barefoot, and with a cord about his neck, which is the custom of his order. 
He died on the 2d of April, in 1508, being ninety-one years old.* He was 
canonized by Leo X. in 1519. His body remained uncorrupted in the 
church of Plessis-les-Tours, till the year 1562, when the Huguenots broke 
open the shrine and found it entire, fifty-five years after his death. They 
dragged it about the streets, and burned it in a fire which they had made 
with the wood of a great crucifix.^ Some of his bones were recovered by 
the Catholics, and are kept in several churches of his order at Plessis, 
Nigeon, Paris, Aix, Naples, Paula, and Madrid. In Tours the same Cal- 
vinists burned the body of St. Martin, Alcuin, and many others. But Louis 
of Bourbon, duke of Montpensier, governor of Anjou, Touraine, and Maine, 
a virtuoias and valiant prince, soon gave chase to those sacrilegious plun- 
derers, and restored the churches and religious places to their former pos- 
sessors.! St. Francis wrote two rules for his friars, with a Correctorium, 

, 2 Baillet ; Helyot, Hist, des Ord. Relig. ; Le Fevre ; the Contin. of Fleury ; Croisset. 

* F. Papebroke had written, that St. Francis was bom only in 1438, and died sixty-nine years old ; but 
retracted this mistake after he had seen the dissertation of F. Giry. 

t See the verbal process and informations relating to the sacrileges committed in pillaging this church 
a,nd convent of Plessis, taken in the presidial court of Tours, in 15C2 and 1565, in De Coste, p. 482. His 
rich tomb, though empty, is shown in the church of his great convent at Plessis-les-Tours, a mile from 

16 s. APIAN, M. [April 2. 

or method of enjoining penances, and a third rule for nuns ; all approved 
by pope Julius II. in 1506, 

Vanity and the love of the vv^orld make men fond of producing themselves 
in public, and by having never cultivated an acquaintance with themselves, 
they shun the very means, look upon retirement as intolerable, and pass their 
life in wandering always from home, and in a studied series of dissipation, 
in which they secretly seek the gratification of their vanity, sloth, and other 
passions, but meet only with emptiness, trouble, and vexation. Man can find 
happiness only in God and in his own heart. This he flies who cannot 
bear to converse with God and his own heart. On the contrary, he who is 
endued with the spirit of prayer, finds the greatest relish in the interior ex- 
ercises of compunction and contemplation, and in conversing with heaven. 
Solitude is his chief delight, and his centre : here he lives sequestered from 
creatures, and as if there were only God and himself in the world, except 
that he ceases not to recommend all men to God. In paying the debts of 
charity, and other exterior duties to his neighbors, his heart is fixed on 
God, and he has purely his divine will in view. So that even in his public 
actions, he deposites his intention and sentiments in the bosom of his God 
and Redeemer, and has no regard to creatures but as he considers God 
and his holy will in them. You are dead, says the apostle,^ and your life 
is hid toith God in Jesus Christ. 


Called by the Greeks and Latins Aphian, and sometimes Amphian. 
He was born of rich and illustrious parents, in Lycia, and by them sent in 
his youth to study eloquence, philosophy, and the Roman laws, in the famous 
schools of Berytus, in Phoenicia. He made a most rapid progress in learn- 
ing : but it was his greatest happiness that, having embraced the Christian 
faith, he, by the means of prayer and retirement, preserved his innocence 
and virtue untainted in the midst of vice and lewdness. Returning home 
after his studies, he found his parents yet idolaters ; and therefore withdrew 
to CfEsarea in Palestine, being at that time eighteen years of age. St. Pam- 
philius there expounded the holy scriptures with great piety and learning, 
and Apian became one of his auditors. Such was his conduct in that school 
of martyrs, as prepared him to take the lead among them, and set the rest 
an example. Dioclesian having abdicated the empire at Nicomedia, on the 
1st of May, in 305, Galerius Maximianus, the chief promoter of his bloody 
persecution, was declared emperor of the East, which Maximinus Daia gov- 
erned under him, as Ccesar. There came letters to Csesarea from the last- 
mentioned, containing orders to the governor to compel all persons whatever 
to attend the public solemn sacrifices. Then Apian, without having commu- 
nicated his design to any person, " Not even to us," says the historian Eu- 
sebius, with whom he dwelt, went to find out the governor Urbanus, as he 
was sacrificing, and came near to him without being perceived by the guards 
that surrounded him ; and taking hold of his right hand, with which he was 
performing the ceremony, stopped him, saying : it was an impious thing to 
neglect the worship of the true God, and to sacrifice to idols and demons. 
God inspired this generous youth, not yet twenty years of age, by this da- 

3 Colos. iii. 8. 

the city of Tours. The church and convent are also stripped by several accidents of a gi-eat part of their 
rich ornaments and plate. Very near, the favorite palace of Louis XI. is still standing, though in a de- 
caying condition. 

April 2.] s, theodosia, v. m. 17 

rino- and extraordinary action, to confound the impiety of the persecutors, and 
to show them the courage of his servants. The guards instantly fell upon 
him, like so many wild beasts, cruelly buffeted his face, beat hira down to 
the ground, kicked him unmercifully, hideously tore his mouth and lips, and 
wounded him in every part of his body. He was then thrown into a dark dun- 
geon, where he remained a day and a night with his feet stretched very 
wide' in the stocks. The next he was brought before the governor, who 
commanded he should suffer the most exquisite tortures. He had his sides 
torn so that his bones and entrails appeared: and his face was so swollen 
with the blows he had received, that he could not be known by his most in- 
timate acquaintance. His only answer to all questions was: " I am a ser- 
vant of Christ." His constancy having thrown the tyrant into a transport of 
rage, he ordered the executioners to apply to his feet lighted matches of flax 
dipped in oil. The fire burned up his flesh, and penetrated even to the very 
bones, and the juice of his body dropped from hira like melted wax, but he 
still continued resolute. His patience struck the persecutors with astonish- 
ment : and when pressed by his tormentors to sacrifice and obey the judge, 
fixing his eyes upon them, he only replied : " I confess Christ the only God, 
and the same God with the Father." He was then remanded to prison, 
where he continued three days. Being then brought before the judge, he 
persisted in his confession, and, though half dead, was by his order cast into 
the sea. A prodigy ensued, of which there were as many witnesses, says 
Eusebius, as citizens of Cajsarea. He was no sooner thrown into the 
water, with stones tied to his feet, but both the sea and the city were shook 
with an earthquake, accompanied with a dreadful noise ; and the sea, as if 
it was not able to endure the corpse of the martyr, threw it up before the 
gates of the city: all the inhabitants went out to see this prodigy, and gave 
glory to the God of the Christians, ' confessing aloud the name of Jesus 
Christ. The triumph of St. Apian happened on the 2d of April, 306, in the 
nineteenth year of his age. See Eusebius, an eye-witness, De Martyr. 
Falsest, c. 4, and his genuine acts in Chaldaic, given to the public by Ste- 
phen Assemani, t. 2, p. 188. 


She was a native of Tyre. Having been educated in the Christian faith, 
she had, by vow, consecrated her virginity to God. She was not eighteen 
years of age when, in 308, being at Cassarea, and beholding there the cruel- 
ties exercised by the barbarous governor upon the servants of God, her zeal 
prompted her to address the confessors who stood bound in the square before 
the governor's court to be interrogated. She congratulated them on their 
happiness, and besought them to remember her in their prayers when they 
should be with God, and earnestly exhorted them to patience and perseve- 
rance. The guards apprehended her as if guilty of a crime on account of 
this action, and presented her to the governor, who for three years and a 
half had sought in vain, by every invention of cruelty, to extirpate the Chris- 
tian name out of his province; but finding the blood of martyrs to be a 
seed which served to further the propagation of Christianity, he was no lon- 
ger master of his fury. Seeing the undaunted air with which this tender 
virgin appeared before him, he took it for an insult of his power, and caused 
her to be stretched on the rack in the most cruel manner ; and her sides and 
breasts to be torn with iron hooks and pincers, and at length her breasts to 
be cut off with the utmost barbarity. Nothing could draw from her the least 
complaint or sigh; but she suffered these tortures with an amiable cheerful- 

VoL. II— 3 



[April 2. 

ness painted on her face, and sweetly said to the judge : " By your cruelty 
you procure me that great happiness which it was my grief to see deferred. 
I rejoice to see myself called to this crown, and return hearty thanks to God 
for vouchsafing me such a favor." She was yet alive, when the governor, 
finding it impossible to add to his cruelty, ordered her to be thrown into the 
sea. The other confessors he condemned to the mines in Palestine ; but 
was himself shortly after beheaded by his master for his crimes. St. Theo- 
dosia received her crown on the 2d of April, on which day her name oc- 
curs in the Roman, Greek, Russian, and other calendars. Her memory is 
honored with particular devotion at Venice, and in many other places. Con- 
cerning her martyrdom, see Eusebius, an eye-v/itness, in his History of the 
Martyrs of Palestine, c. 7, and her Acts, published from the Chaldaic, by 
Assemani, t. 2, p. 204.* 



He was descended from an ancient noble Gaulish family in Burgundy, 
and, by the care of virtuous parents, received a learned and pious education. 
Humility and assiduous prayer were his favorite virtues from the cradle. 
In his father's house he always chose to appear the lowest in the family, 
though by birth he had a right to claim the highest place next his parents. 
He readily gave a preference in all things to his brethren, and took a singu- 
lar delight, during his hours of recreation, in performing the most servile 
offices. He instructed, with the utmost diligence, the servants and children 
in all Christian duties, and taught them the psalter and church office. He 
succeeded his uncle, St. Serdot, in the see of Lyons, in 551, which he gov- 
erned with indefaiigable zeal during twenty-two years, till his happy death 
on the 2d day of April, in 577. Great miracles confirmed the opinion of 
his sanctity : his relics are preserved in the parish church of his name, in 
Lyons : his memory is famous in France, and recorded in the Roman Mar- 


Ix the ninth century St. Ebba governed the great monastery of Colding- 
ham, situated in jNIerch, or the Marshes, a province in the shire of Berwick, 
which was for some time subject to the English, at other times to the Scots. 
This was at that time the largest monastery in all Scotland, and had been 
founded by another St. Ebba, who was sister to St. Oswald and Oswi, kings 
of Nortmuiiberland.-|- In the year 870, according to Matthew of Westmin- 
ster, or rather in 874, according to the Scottish historians, in an incursion of 
the cruel Danish pirates, Hinguar and Hubba, this abbess was anxious, not 
for her life, but for her chastity, to preserve which she had recourse to the 
following stratagem. Having assembled her nuns in the Chapter-house, 
after making a moving discourse to her sisters, she, with a razor, cut off her 
nose and upper-lip, and was courageously imitated by all the holy commu- 
nity. The frightful spectacle which they exhibited in this condition pro- 

* St. Theodosia suffered xinder eighteen years of age : St. Apian not yet twenty. 

t The monastery of Coldinghani was burnt by John, king of England, and after it was rebuilt retained 
only the rank of a priory till tlie change of religion. A nephew of bishop Lesley, a Scottish Jesuit, tells 
us, in the lives of Scottish Saints, which he compiled in Latin, that he found the ruins very stately when 
he took a survey of them in 1610. See this MS. History of Scottish Saints, p. 98. 

April 3.j ss. agape, chionia, etc., mm. 19 

tected their virginity. But the infidels, enraged at their disappointment, set 
fire to the monastery, and these holy virgins died in the flames spotless vic- 
tims to their heavenly spouse, the lover and rewarder of chaste souls. See 
Matthew ofWestminster, Baronius ad an. 870, Cressy, &c. 


Makched against the infidels who advanced to plunder his dominions, 
and, intercepting the forces of Hubba, cut off from the army of his brother, 
king Hinguar, by a sudden flood of the river Lenin, easily put them to flight ; 
but was afterwards vanquished by Hinguar, near the town Cararia, and slain. 
In his last moments he repeated those words of the Psalm Ixxvii. 19, Lord 
Jesus, abandon not to beasts the souls which serve thee. His death is placed 
by bishop Lesley and Buchanan in 874. He was buried in the isle of lona, 
or Y-Colm-kill, and his tomb is said to have been honored with miracles. 
The title of martyr is given him by King, in his Calendar, on the 11th of 
March, the day on which he was honored under that quality at St. Andrew's. 
See Lesley, Hist. 1. 5 ; Buchanan, 1. 6. 


Abbess of Gleannsechis, or Kill-sechis, in Ireland : titular saint of the 
parish of Kill-Bruncha in the diocese of Dromore. See Colgan in MSS. 
Con. SS. Hibern. ad 2 Apr. 




From their original acts, abridged out of the presidial court registers of Thessalonica, in Surius, Ruinart, 
p. 421. Tillemont, t. .5, pp. 240 and 680. Ceillier, t. 3, p. 490. 

A. D. 304. 

These three sisters lived at Thessalonica, and their parents were heathens 
when they suffered martyrdom. In the year 303, the emperor Dioclesian 
published an edict forbidding, under pain of death, any persons to keep the 
holy scriptures. These saints concealed many volumes of these sacred 
books, but were not discovered or apprehended till the year following ; when, 
as their acts relate, Dulcetius, the governor, being seated in his tribunal, 
Arteniesius, the secretary, said : " If you please, I will read an information 
given in by the Stationary,* concerning several persons here present." Dul- 
cetius said : " Let the information be read." The solicitor read as follows : 
" The Pensioner Cassander to Dulcetius, president of Macedonia, greeting. 
I send to your highness six Christian women, with a man, who have refused 

* StationarJus was a person appointed to I<eep ward in any place. Such officers, when distinguished by 
certain privileges, or particular benefits, conferred upon them for past services in the arniy, were also called 


to eat meats sacrificed to the gods. They are called Agape, Chionia, Irene, 
Casia, Philippa, Eutychia, and the man's name is Agatho ; therefore I have 
caused them to be brought before you." The president, turning to the wo- 
men, said : " Wretches, what madness is this of yours, that you will not 
obey the pious commands of the emperors and Csesars 1" He then said to 
Agatho : " Why will you not eat of the meats offered to the gods, like other 
subjects of the empire ?" He answered : " Because I am a Christian." 
DuLCETius. — " Do you still persist in that resolution ?" " Certainly," replied 
Agatho. Dulcetius next addressed himself to Agape, saying : " What are 
your sentiments ?" Agape answered : " I believe in the living God, and 
will not by an evil action lose all the merit of my past life." Then the 
president said : " What say you, Chionia ?" She answered : " I believe in 
the living God, and for that reason did not obey your orders." The presi- 
dent, turning to Irene, said : " Why did not you obey the most pious com- 
mand of our emperors and Caesars ?" Irene said : " For fear of offending 
God." President. — "But what say you, Casia ?" She said : " I desire 
to save my soul." President. — " Will not you partake of the sacred offer- 
ings ?" Casia. — " By no means." President. — " But you, Philippa, what 
do you say ?" She answered : " I say the same thing." President. — 
" What is that?" Philippa. — " That I had rather die than eat of your sac- 
rifices." President. — ■" And you, Eutychia, what do you say ?" " I say 
the same thing," said she, " that I had rather die than do what you com- 
mand." President. — "Are you married?" Eutychia. — "My husband 
has been dead almost these seven months." " By whom are you with 
child?" She answered : " By him whom God gave me for my husband." 
President. — " I advise you, Eutychia, to leave this folly, and resume a 
reasonable way of thinking ; what do you say ? will you obey the imperial 
edict?" Eutychia. — "No: for I am a Christian, and serve the Almighty 
God." President. — " Eutychia being big with child, let her be kept in 
prison." Afterwards Dulcetius added : " Agape, what is your resolution ? 
will you do as we do, who are obedient and dutiful to the emperors ?" 
Agape. — " It is not proper to obey Satan ; my soul is not to be overcome 
by these discourses." President. — " And you, Chionia, what is your final 
answer?" " Nothing can change me," said she. President. — " Have you not 
some books, papers, or other writings, relating to the religion of the impious 
Christians ?" Chionia said : " We have none : the emperors now reigning 
have taken them all from us." President. — " Who drew you into this per- 
suasion ?" She said, " Almighty God." President. — "Who induced you to 
embrace this folly ?" Chionia repeated again, " Almighty God, and his only 
Son our Lord Jesus Christ." Dulcetius. — " You are all bound to obey our 
most puissant emperors and Ccesars. But because you have so long obsti- 
nately despised their just commands, and so many edicts, admonitions, and 
threats, and have had the boldness and rashness to despise our orders, re- 
taining the impious name of Christians ; and since to this very time you have 
not obeyed the stationaries and officers who solicited you to renounce Jesus 
Christ in writing, you shall receive the punishment you deserve." Then he 
read their sentence, which was worded as follows : " I condemn Agape and 
Chionia to be burnt alive, for having out of malice and obstinacy acted in 
contradiction to the divine edicts of our lords the emperors and Ceesars, and 
who at present profess the rash and false religion of Christians, which all 
pious persons abhor." He added : " As for the other four, let them be con- 
fined in close prison during my pleasure." 

After these two had been consumed in the fire, Irene was a third time 
brought before the president. Dulcetius said to her : " Your madness is 
plain, since you have kept to this day so many books, parchments, codicils, 

April 3.] ss. agape, chionia, etc., mm. 21 

and papers of the scriptures of the impious Christians. You was forced to 
acknowledge them when they were produced before you, though you had 
before denied you had any.* You will not take warning from the punish- 
ment of your sisters, neither have you the fear of death before your eyes, 
your punishment therefore is unavoidable. In the mean time I do not refuse 
even now to make some condescension in your behalf. Notwithstanding 
your crime, you may find pardon and be freed from punishment, if you will 
yet worship the gods. What say you then 1 will you obey the orders of 
the- emperors ? are you ready to sacrifice to the gods, and eat of the vic- 
tims ■?" Irene. — " By no means : for those that renounce Jesus Christ, the 
Son of God, are threatened with eternal fire." Dulcetius. — " Who per- 
suaded you to conceal those books and papers so long?" Irene. — "Al- 
mighty God, who has commanded us to love him even unto death ; on 
which account we dare not betray him, but rather choose to be burnt alive, 
or suffer any thing whatsoever than discover such writings." President. — 
" Who knew that those writings were in the house V " Nobody," said she, 
" but the Almighty, from whom nothing is hid : for we concealed them even 
from our own domestics, lest they should accuse us." President. — " Where 
did you hide yourselves last year, when the pious edict of our emperors was 
first published?" Irene. — "Where it pleased God, in the mountains." 
President. — "With whom did you live?" Irene. — " We were in the 
open air, sometimes on one mountain, sometimes on another." President. — 
" Who supplied you with bread ?" Irene. — " God, who gives food to all 
flesh." President. — "Was your father privy to it?" Irene. — "No; 
he had not the least knowledge of it." President. — " Which of your 
neighbors knew it?" Irene. — "Inquire in the neighborhood, and make 
your search." President. — " After you returned from the mountains, as 
you say, did you read those books to anybody ?" Irene. — "They were 
hid at our own house, and we durst not produce them ; and we were in 
great trouble, because we could not read them night and day, as we had been 
accustomed to do." Dulcetius. — " Your sisters have already suffered the 
punishments to which they were condemned. As for you, Irene, though you 
were condemned to death before your flight for having hid these writings, I 
will not have you die^ so suddenly ; but I order that you be exposed naked 
in a brothel, and be allowed one loaf a day, to be sent you from the palace ; 
and that the guards do not suffer you to stir out of it one moment, under pain 
of death to them." The infamous sentence was rigorously executed ; but 
God protecting her, no man durst approach her, nor say or do any indecency 
to her. The president caused her to be brought again before him, and said 
to her : " Do you still persist in your rashness ?" " Not in rashness," said 
Irene, " but in piety towards God." Dulcetius. — " You shall suffer the just 
punishment of your insolence and obstinacy." And having called for paper, 
he wrote this sentence : " Since Irene will not obey the emperor's orders 
and sacrifice to the gods, but, on the contrary, persists still in the religion 
of the Christians, I order her to be immediately burnt alive, as her sisters 
have been." Dulcetius had no sooner pronounced this sentence but the sol- 
diers seized Irene, and brought her to a rising ground where her sisters had 
suffered martyrdom, and having lighted a large pile, ordered her to mount 
thereon. Irene, singing psalms, and celebrating the glory of God, threw 
herself on the pile, and was there consumed in the ninth consulship of Dio- 
clesian, and the eighth of Maximian, on the 1st day of April; but Ado, 
Usuard, and the Roman Martyrology name St. Agape and Chionia on the 
3d, and St. Irene on the 5th of April. 

* They probably were not then in her custody, at least not known to Chionia, who had denied them ; or 
she only denied herself convicted of the fact in court. 



[April 3. 

These saints suffered a glorious martyrdom, rather than to offend God by 
an action which several Christians at that time on various foolish pretexts 
excused to themselves. How many continually form to themselves a false 
conscience to palliate the enormity of gross sins, in spite of the light of rea- 
son and the gospel ; in which their case is far more deplorable and despe- 
rate than that of the most flagrant sinners. These are often awakened 
to sincere repentance : but what hopes can we have of those who, wil- 
fully blinding themselves, imagine all goes right with them, even while 
they are running headlong into perdition ? How many excuse to themselves 
notorious usuries and a thousand frauds, detractions, slanders, revenge, antip- 
athies, sensual fondnesses, and criminal familiarities, envy, jealousy, hy- 
pocrisy, pride, and numberless other crimes ! How often do men canonize 
the grossest vices under the glorious names of charity, zeal, prudence, con- 
stancy, and other virtues ! The principal sources of this fatal misfortune 
of a false conscience are, first, the passions. These so strangely blind the 
understanding and pervert the judgment, that men fail not to extenuate the 
enormity of their crimes, and even to justify to themselves many violations 
of the divine law, where any passion hath a strong bias. Whatever men 
are eagerly bent to commit, they easily find pretences to call lawful. A 
second cause of our practical errors are the example and false maxims of 
the world. We flatter ourselves that what everybody does must be law- 
ful, as if the multitude of sinners could authorize any crime, or as if the rule 
by which Christ will judge us, was the custom or example of others ; or 
lastly, as if the world had not framed a false system of morals very oppo- 
site to the gospel. A third source of this dreadful and common evil is an 
affected ignorance. Parents, magistrates, priests, and others, are frequent- 
ly unacquainted with several essential obligations of their state. How often 
are Christians ignorant of many practical duties which they owe to God, 
their neighbors, and themselves ! 


From his life by Ralph Bocking, some time his Confessarins, in two books, dedicated to Isabel, countess 
of Arundel ; extant in the Acta Sanctorum. The same is abridged in Surius. See another life of this 
saint in Capgrave, written also soon after his death ; and F. Papebroke, t. 1, April, p. 277. 

A. D. 1253. 

St. Richard was born at the manor of Wiche, famous for its salt wells, 
four miles from Worcester, being second son to Richard and xilice de Wiche. 
In order to keep faithfully his baptismal vows, he from his infancy always 
manifested the utmost dislike to gay diversions, and ever held in the high- 
est contempt all worldly pomp : instead of which his attention was wholly 
employed in establishing for himself a solid foundation of virtue and learn- 
ing. Every opportunity of serving others he regarded as his happiness and 
o-ain. The unfortunate situation of his eldest brother's affairs gave him an 
occasion of exercising his benevolent disposition. Richard condescended 
to become his brother's servant, undertook the management of his farms, 
and by his industry and generosity effectually retrieved his brother's before 
distressed circumstances. Having completed this good work, he resumed 
at Paris those studies he had begun at Oxford, leading with two select com- 
panions, a life of piety and mortification, generally contenting himself with 
coarse bread and simple water for his diet ; except that on Sundays and on 
particular festivals he would, in condescendence to some visitors, allow 
himself a little meat or fish. Upon his return to England, he proceeded 

April 3.] 



master of arts at Oxford, from whence he went to Bologna, in Italy, where 
he applied himself to the study of the canon law, and was appointed public 
professor of that science. After having taught there a short time, he re- 
turned to Oxford, and, on account of his merit, was soon promoted to the 
dignity of chancellor in that university. St. Edmund, archbishop of Can- 
terbury, having the happiness of gaining him for his diocese, appointed him 
his chancellor, and intrusted him with the chief direction of his archbishop- 
ric ; and Richard was the faithful imitator of his patron's piety and devo- 
tions. The principal use he made of his revenues was to employ them to 
charitable purposes, nor would he on any terms be prevailed on to accept 
the least present in the execution of his office as ecclesiastical judge. He 
accompanied his holy prelate in his banishment into France, and after his 
blessed death at Pontigni, retired into a convent of Dominican friars in Or- 
leans. Having in that solitude employed his time in the improving himself 
in theological studies, and received the order of priesthood, he returned to 
England to serve a private curacy, in the diocese of Canterbury. Boni- 
face, who had succeeded St. Edmund in that metropolitan see, compelled 
him to resume his office of chancellor, with the care of his whole diocese. 
Ralph Nevil, bishop of Chichester, dying in 1244, king Henry HI. recom- 
mended to that see an unworthy court favorite, called Robert Passelew : the 
archbishop and other prelates declared the person not qualified, and the pre- 
sentation void : and preferred Richard de Wiche to that dignity. He was 
consecrated in 1245. But the king seized his temporalities, and the saint 
suffered maiiy hardships and persecutions from him and his officers, during 
two years, till his majesty granted him a replevin : upon which he recover- 
ed his revenues, but much impaired. And as, after having pleaded bis 
cause at Rome before pope Innocent IV. against the king's deputies, and 
obtained a sentence confirming his election, he had permitted no persecu- 
tion, fatigue, or difficulty to excuse him to himself for the omission of any 
part of his duty to his flock : so now, the chief obstacles being removed, he 
redoubled his fervor and attention. He, in person, visited the sick, buried 
the dead, and sought out and relieved the poor. When his steward com- 
plained that his alms exceeded his income : " then," said he, " sell my 
plate and my horse." Having suffered a great loss by fire, instead of being 
more sparing in his charities, he said, " Perhaps God sent us this loss 
to punish our covetousness ;" and ordered upon the spot more abundant 
alms to be given than usual. Such was the ardor of his devotion, that he 
lived as it were in the perpetual contemplation of heavenly things. He 
preached the word of God to his flock with that unction and success which 
only an eminent spirit of prayer could produce. The affronts which he 
received, he always repaid with favors, and enmity with singular marks of 
charity. In maintaining discipline he was inflexible, especially in chasti- 
sing crimes in the clergy : no intercession of the king, archbishop, and sev- 
eral other prelates could prevail with him to mitigate the punishment of a 
priest who had sinned against chastity. Yet penitent sinners he received 
with inexpressible tenderness and charity. While he was employed in 
preaching a holy war against the Saracens, being commissioned thereto by 
the pope, he fell sick of a fever, foretold his own death, and prepared him- 
self for it by the most melting ejaculations of divine love and thanksgiving. 
He died in an hospital at Dover, called God's House, on the 3d of April, in 
the year of our Lord 1253, of his episcopal dignity the ninth, of his age the 
fifty-sixth. His body was conveyed to Chichester, and interred before the 
altar which he himself had consecrated in his cathedral to the memory of 
St. Edmund. It was removed to a more honorable place in 1276, on the 
16th of June, on which day our ancestors commemorated his translation. 

24 s. NicETAs, A. [April 3. 

The fame of miraculous cures of paralytic and other distempers, and of 
three persons raised to life at his tomb, moved the pope to appoint commis- 
saries to inquire into the truth of these reports, before whom many of these 
miracles were authentically proved upon the spot ; and the saint was 
solemnly canonized by Urban IV., in 1262. 

*5 ST. ULPIAN, M. 

He was a young zealous Christian of Tyre, who, being encouraged by 
the example of St. Apian and other martyrs at Csesarea, boldly confessed 
Christ before the cruel judge Urbanus. The enraged governor ordered him 
to be first severely scourged, and then tortured on the rack ; his joints be- 
ing thereby dislocated, his bones broke, and his body so universally sore 
that the slightest touch occasioned excessive pain. He was sewed up after 
this in a leather bag, with a dog and an aspic, laid on a cart drawn by black 
bulls, carried to the sea-side, and cast into the waves. See Eusebius on 
the Martyrs of Palestine, ch. 5. 


He was a native of Bithynia, and from his infancy was brought up in 
austere monasteries by the care of his pious father Philaretus, who, after the 
loss of his wife, had himself embraced a monastic state. Nicetas emulated 
the most perfect examples of virtue : his mind was wholly occupied in pray- 
er and pious reading, and his body was so extenuated by the severity of his 
fasts and watching, that it nearly resembled a walking skeleton. But his soul 
grew the more vigorous and active in proportion as it was more disengaged 
from the flesh, and by contemplation approached nearer to the angels. St. 
Nicephorus appointed him his coadjutor, and afterwards recommended him 
to be his successor in the abbey of Medicion, which he had founded on 
mount Olympus, under the rule of the Aca3metes. In this calm and amiable 
retreat the saint, and a hundred holy monks under his direction, led the lives 
of terrestrial angels, Avhen the devil found means to disturb their tranquillity, 
though in the end his attempts only served to furnish their virtue with more 
distinguished occasions of triumph. In 813, the emperor Leo the Armenian 
renewed the war against holy images, and in 814, banished the patriarch 
St. Nicephorus, and intruded into his see one Theodosius, an impious offi- 
cer of the court. The zeal of Nicetas for the Catholic faith was recom- 
pensed by two banishments, a rigid imprisonment, and other severe suffer- 
ings. Theodosius, having pronounced anathema against all who did not 
honor the image of Jesus Christ, our abbot, regarding him as orthodox, con- 
sented, with many other confessors, to receive the communion from his 
hands ; but was immediately stung with remorse, fearing lest he had been 
drawn into a conformity which some might interpret to the prejudice of the 
truth. Hereupon he openly protested that he would never abandon the faith 
of his ancestors, or obey the false patriarch. He rejected the offers of pre- 
ferment at court, and chose rather to suffer a cruel banishment into the 
island of St. Glyceria, in the extremities of the Propontis, under the guard 
of Anthimus, a court eunuch, who confined him in a dark dungeon, the key 
of which he always kept in his own custody. A little food, merely what 
seemed necessary to preserve him alive, was carelessly thrown in to him 
through a little window. In this martyrdom he lingered six years, till the 
death of Leo the Armenian, who was murdered on Christmas-day, in 820. 

April 4.] s. Isidore, b. 25 

Michael the Stutterer, who then ascended the throne, released the prisoners. 
St. Nicetas chose, out of humility, neither to return to his monastery, nor to 
live at Constantinople, but, shutting himself up in a small hermitage near 
that city, prepared himself for death, which he met with joy on the 3d of 
April, 824. Many miracles rendered his name illustrious on earth. See his 
life, by an intimate acquaintance, in Surius, d'Andilly, Papebroke, Fleury, 
b. 46. 



From his works and those of SS. Braulio and Ildefonse, his disciples. His life, compiled by Luke, bishop 
of Tuy, in Galicia, in 1236, extant in Mabillon, Ssec. Ben. 2, shows not that accuracy and judgment 
which we admire in the books of that author against the Albigenses : nor is it here made use of. 

A. D. 606. 

St. Isidore is honored in Spain as the most illustrious doctor of that 
church, in which God raised him, says St. Braulio,' to stem the torrent of 
barbarism and ferocity which everywhere followed the arms of the Goths, 
who had settled themselves in that kingdom, in 412. The eighth great 
council of Toledo, fourteen years after his death, styles him " the excellent 
doctor, the late ornament of the Catholic church, the most learned man, given 
to enlighten the latter ages, always to be named with reverence." The city 
Carthagena was the place of his birth, which his parents, Severian and 
Theodora, persons of the first quality in the kingdom, edified by the example 
of their extraordinary piety. His two brothers, Leander and Fulgentius, 
bishops,* and his sister Florentina, are also honored among the saints. Isi- 
dore having qualified himself in his youth for the service of the church by 
an uncommon stock of virtue and learning, assisted his brother Leander, 
archbishop of Seville, in the conversion of the Visigoths from the Arian 
heresy. This great work he had the happiness to see perfectly accomplish- 
ed by his indefatigable zeal and labors, which he continued during the suc- 
cessive reigns of the kings Reccared, Liuba, Witeric, Gundemar, Sisebut, 
and Sisemund. Upon the decease of St. Leander, in 600, or 601, he suc- 
ceeded him in the see of Seville. f He restored and settled the discipline 
of the church of Spain in several councils, of all which he was the oracle 
and the soul. The purity of their doctrine, and the severity of the canons 
enacted in them, drawn up chiefly by him, are incontestable monuments of 
his great learning and zeal4 In the council of Seville, in 619, in which he 
presided, he, in a public disputation, convinced Gregory (a bishop of the 
Acephali) of his error, who was come over from Syria ; and so evidently 
did he confute the Eutychian heresy, that Gregory, upon the spot, embraced 
the Catholic faith. In 610, the bishops of Spain, in a council held at To- 
ledo, agreed to declare the archbishop of that city primate of all Spain, as, 
they say, he had always been acknowledged ; which decree king Gundemar 

1 Prsenot. lib. Isidor. 

* F. Flores proves this St. Fulgentius, bishop of Ecija, suffragan of Seville, to have never been trans- 
lated to the see of Carthagena, as Card. Belluga and some others have advanced upon incompetent mod- 
ern authorities. Flores, Espana Sagrada, t. 5, p. 97. Dissertacion Critica sobre si S. Fulgencio fue Obispo 
de Carthagena. 

t Not in 595, as Cave, &c. say ; for St. Gregory wrote to St. Leander in 599, 1. 9, ep. 60, 61. 

i See on the councils the dissertations of the learned cardinal d'Aguirre. 

Vol. II — 4 



[April 4. 

confirmed by a law the same year ; and St. Isidore subscribed the same. 
Yet we find that in the fourth council of Toledo, in 633, the most famous of 
all the synods of Spain, though Justus, the archbishop of Toledo, was pres- 
ent, St. Isidore presided, not by the privilege of his see, but on the bare 
consideration of his extraordinary merit ; for he was regarded as the emi- 
nent doctor of the churches of Spain. The city of Toledo was honored 
with the residence of the Visigoth kings. 

St. Isidore, to extend to posterity the advantages which his labors had 
procured to the church, compiled many useful works : in which he takes in 
the whole circle of the sciences, and discovers a most extensive reading, 
and a general acquaintance with the ancient vvnriters, both sacred and pro- 
fane. In the moral parts his style is pathetic and moving, being the lan- 
guage of a heart overflowing with sentiments of religion and piety : and 
though elegance and politeness of style were not the advantage of that age, 
the diction of this father is agreeable and clear.* The saint was well versed 
in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages. 

St. Ildefonse says, that this saint governed his church near forty years, 
but cannot mean above thirty-six or thirty-seven. When he was almost 
fourscore years old, though age and fatigues had undermined and broken 
into his health, he never interrupted his usual exercises and labors. Du- 
ring the last six months of his life, he increased his charities with such pro- 
fusion, that the poor of the whole country crowded his house from morning 
till night. Perceiving his end to draw near, he entreated two bishops to 
come to see him. With them he went to the church, where one of them 
covered him with sackcloth, the other put ashes on his head. Clothed with 
the habit of penance, he stretched his hands towards heaven, prayed with 
great earnestness, and begged aloud the pardon of his sins. He then re- 
ceived from the hands of the bishops the body and blood of our Lord, recom- 
mended himself to the prayers of all that were present, remitted the bonds 
of all his debtors, exhorted the people to charity, and caused all the money 
which he had not as yet disposed of to be distributed among the poor. This 
done, he returned to his own house, and calmly departed this life on the 

* The Latin and Greek languages are a necessary introduction to learning, they are requisite to open to 
us the sources of sacred studies, and are adopted by the church in her liturgies to prevent the inconve- 
niences and dangerous consequences of continual alterations and variations: they are likewise the key 
which unlock to us the original and most accomplished masters of polite literature, and almost all the 
sciences. These and other reasons moved St. Isidore to cultivate the study of those languages. The 
Latin tongue, though degenerating from its purity ever since the reign of Domitian, still continued the liv- 
ing language among the old Roman inhabitants of Spain; but began to be embased by the mixture of the 
Goths ; and this alteration was afterwards much increased by the irruption of the Moors, and by the com- 
merce of other barbarous nations. To preserve the knowledge of the Latin tongue, St. Isidore wrote sev- 
eral treatises on grammar. He compiled others on philosophy, on the holy scriptures, and on various 
subjects of piety, as on prayer, penance, and the contempt of the world. He has likewise left us a list of 
ninety-two ecclesiastical writers from Pope Sixtus III., with whom St. Jerom concluded his catalogue, a 
chronicle from the beginning of the world down to his own time, and a history of the Goths. F. Flores 
has favored us with a new complete edition of St. Isidore's book, De Viris Illustribus, with a preliminary 
dissertation, in an appendix to the fifth tome of his Espana Sagrada, p. 440. Also of this father's Historia 
de Regibus Gothorum, Wandalorura et Suevorum, ibid. t. 6. Append. 12, p. 474. The most famous of 
St. Isidore's works are twenty books of Etymologies, or Origins, in which he lays down the principles of 
the diti'erent sciences, beginning from grammar. His three books of the Sentences, or on the Summum 
Bonum, are a summary of' theolog>' on the divine attributes, on virtues and vices, consisting of sentences 
gleaned from the writings of SS. Austin, Gregory, &c. In his two books on the divine or ecclesiastical 
Offices, he explains the canonical hours, ceremonies, feasts, and fasts of the church. He says that our 
fathers established the festivals of the apostles and martyrs to excite us to an imitation of their virtues, to 
associate us to their merits, and that we may be assisted by their prayers ; yet to none of them do we 
ofler sacrifice, but only to the God of martyrs, (1. 1, c. 34.) Among the fast-days he mentions two which 
are not now observed, viz. the first days of January and November. His monastic rule, which he ad- 
dressed to the monks of Honori, resembles that of St. Rennet. In it he orders mass to be said for every 
deceased brother, and on Monday in Whitsun-week for all the faithful departed. He prescribes that the 
monks prostrate themselves at the end of each psalm in the divine office. St. Isidore put the finishing 
hand to the Mosarabic missal and breviary, which St. Leander had begtm to revise. Le Brun thinks it 
was compiled by the latter. Flores takes it to have been the ancient Roman and African missal intro- 
duced among the Goths in Spain, by St. Leander, with some few things from the old Spanish liturgj^ 
See Flores, Espana Sagrada, t. 3. De la Missa antiqua de Espagna, pp. 187, 198. F. Lesley, a Jesuit, who 
has given anew edition of the Mosarabic liturgy at Rome, in 1755, with curious notes, brings many argu- 
ments to show that it was the old Spanish liturgy, used probably from the beginning of that church, 
with some additions, which Saint Leander adopted for the use of the Goths. See Lesley, Pra;f. ib. 

April 4.] 



fourth day after, which was the 4th of April, in the year 636, as is express- 
ly testified by iEdemptus, his disciple, who was present at his death. His 
body was interred in his cathedral, between those of his brother, St. Lean- 
der, and his sister, St. Florentina. Ferdinand, king of Castile and Leon, 
recovered his relics from the Moors, and placed them in the church of St. 
John Baptist, at Leon, where they still remain. 

All who are employed in the functions of Martha, or of an exterior active 
life, must always remember that action and contemplation ought to be so 
constantly intermingled, that the former be always animated and directed by 
the latter, and amid the exterior labors of the active life, we constantly en- 
joy the interior repose of the contemplative, and that no employments entire- 
ly interrupt the union of our souls to God ; but those that are most distract- 
ing serve to make us more closely, more eagerly, and more amorously, 
plunge our hearts in Him, embracing him in himself by contemplation, and 
in our neighbor by our actions. 


He was born about the year 734. A pestilence that raged at Constanti- 
nople depriving him of his parents when he was no more than thirteen years 
of age, the care of his education devolved upon an uncle, who was high 
treasurer. Plato, while yet young, dispatched the business of that high 
office for his uncle with surprising readiness and assiduity. His remarkable 
dexterity in writing shorthand, may be reckoned among his inferior ac- 
complishments, seeing by the daily progress he made in the more sublime 
parts of knowledge and religion, he far outstripped all his equals in age, and 
went beyond the greatest expectation of his masters. These eminent quali- 
fications, joined to his elevated birth, extensive wealth, and unblemished 
probity, introduced him to the notice of the great, and opened to him the 
highest preferments in the state. Persons in the highest stations at court 
wished to make him their son-in-law : but his whole heart being attached to 
heavenly things, he looked with contempt on the pomps and vanities of this 
world. Prayer and retirement were the chief objects of his delight, nor 
was he fond of paying any visits except to churches and monasteries. He 
prevailed on his three brothers to devote themselves to God, and live in a 
state of celibacy : he made all his slaves free, and having sold his large 
estates, he portioned his two sisters, who, marrying, became the mothers of 
saints : the remainder of the purchase-money he distributed among the poor. 
Being thus disengaged, he bid adieu to his friends and country at twenty- 
four years of age. He took with him one servant as far as Bithynia, but 
there sent him also back, having given him all his clothes, except one coarse 
black suit ; and in this manner he walked alone to the monastery of Sym- 
boleon, upon mount Olympus, in that country. From the moment he was 
admitted into that house, no one was more humble, more devout, more exact 
in every duty, or more obedient and mortified. The holy abbot Theoctistus, 
to furnish him with opportunities of heroic acts of virtue, often reproved and 
punished him for faults of which he was not guilty : which treatment St. 
Plato received with silence and joy, in patience and humihty. Prayer and 
pious reading were the delight of his soul. In the hours allotted to labor he 
rejoiced to see the meanest employments assigned to him, as to make bread, 
water the ground, and carry dung, though his most usual province was to 
copy books of piety. Theoctistus dying in 770, St. Plato was chosen ab- 

28 s. PLATO, A. [April 4, 

bot of Symboleon, being only thirty-six years old. He had opposed his 
exaltation to the utmost of his power, but seeing himself compelled to take 
upon him that burden, he became the more humble and the more austere 
penitent. He never drank any thing but water ; and this sometimes only 
once in two days : his diet was bread, beans, or herbs without oil : and this 
refection he never took 'even on Sundays before None. He woidd never 
eat or wear any thing which was not purchased by the labor of his own 
hands ; by which he also maintained several poor. His retreat protected 
him from the persecution of Constantine Copronymus. The year after the 
death of that tyrant, in 775, St. Plato took a journey to Constantinople on 
business, where it is incredible with what esteem he was received, and how 
much he promoted piety in all ranks, states, and conditions ; how successful 
he was in banishing habits of swearing and other vices, and inspiring both 
the rich and poor with the love of virtue. The patriarch, not Tarasius, as 
Fleury mistakes, but his predecessor, Paul, endeavored to make him bishop 
of Nicomedia ; but such was the saint's humility, that he made all haste 
back to his desert of Symboleon. He would never take holy orders ; and 
indeed at that time the generality of monks were laymen. The whole 
family of his sister Theoctista, embracing a religious state, and founding 
the monastery of Saccudion, near Constantinople, St. Plato was with diffi- 
culty prevailed upon to leave Symboleon, and to take upon him the direction 
of this new abbey, in 782 ; but when he had governed it twelve years, he 
resigned the same to his nephew, St. Theodoras. The emperor Constan- 
tine repudiated his empress, Mary, and took to his bed Theodota, a relation 
of St. Plato. The patriarch, St. Tarasius, endeavored to reclaim him by 
exhortations and threats ; but SS. Plato and Theodorus proceeded to pub- 
lish among the monks a kind of sentence of excommunication against him. 
Joseph, the treasurer of the church, and several other mercenary priests 
and monks, endeavored to draw over St. Plato to approve the emperor's di- 
vorce ; but he resisted their solicitations, and the emperor himself to his 
face, and courageously suffered imprisonment and other hardships till the 
death of that unhappy prince, in 797. The Saracens making excursions as 
far as the walls of Constantinople, the monks of Saccudion abandoned their 
settlement, and chose that of Studius, which abbey had been almost 
destroyed by the persecution of Constantine Copronymus. There St. Plato 
vowed obedience to his nephew Theodorus, living himself a recluse in a 
narrow cell, in perpetual prayer and manual labor, having one foot fastened 
to the ground with a heavy iron chain, which he carefully hid with his 
cloak when any one came to see him. In 806, St. Nicephorus, a layman, 
though a person of great virtue, was preferred to the patriarchal dignity by 
the emperor of the same name. St. Plato judged the election of a neophyte 
irregular, and on that account opposed it. In 807 he fell under a new per- 
secution. Joseph, the priest who had married the adulteress to the emperor 
Constantine, was restored to his functions and dignity of treasurer of the 
church, by an order of the emperor Nicephorus. St. Plato considered this 
indulgence as a scandalous enervation of the discipline of the church, and 
a seeming connivance at his past crimes ; and loudly condemned it. The 
emperor, provoked at his zeal, caused him to be guarded a whole year by a 
troop of insolent soldiers and false monks ; after which he obliged him to 
appear before a council of court bishops, by which he was unjustly con- 
demned, and treated with many indignities, and at length, with the most fla- 
grant injustice, pronounced guilty of the fictitious crimes laid to his charge ; 
in consequence of which sentence the emperor banished him, and com- 
manded that he should be ignominiously conducted from place to place in 
the isles of Bosphorus for the space of four years. Notwithstanding he was 

April 5.] 



at the same time afflicted with many distempers, the saint endured the fa- 
tigues of his exile with an extraordinary degree of constancy and courage, 
which had such an effect on Nicephorus, that he had resolved to recall him 
with honor, and pay him the respect such distinguished piety merited, but, 
unhappily, the emperor's being surprised and murdered by the Bulgarians, 
in 811, frustrated those good intentions. But his successor, Michael I., a 
lover of justice and virtue, immediately gave orders that St. Plato should be 
honorably discharged. The saint was received at Constantinople with all 
possible marks of respect and distinction : but privately retired to his cell. 
After some time, perceiving himself near his end, he directed his grave to 
be dug, and himself to be carried to it and laid down by it. Here he was 
visited by the chief persons of the city, especially by the holy patriarch, St. 
Nicephorus, who had satisfied him as to his conduct in receiving the priest 
Joseph, and who came to recommend himself to his prayers. St. Plato 
happily expired on the 19th of March, in 813, near the close of the seven- 
ty-ninth year of his age. His funeral obsequies were performed by the 
patriarch St. Nicephorus. His memory is honored both by the Latins and 
Greeks on the 4th of April. Fortitude in suffering for the sake of justice, 
is the true test of virtue and courage ; and the persecution of the saints is 
the glorious triumph of the cross of Christ. Humility, patience, and con- 
stancy, shine principally on such occasions. Their distresses are like the 
shades in a fine picture, which throw a graceful light on the brighter parts 
of the piece, and heighten its beauties. See the life of St. Plato, by his 
nephew St. Theodorus the Studite. Also the Commentary and Notes of 
Papebroke, t. 1. Apr. p. 364 ; Fleury, 1. 45. 



From his life, written by Ranzano, bishop of Liicera, in order to his canonization, in Henschenias, with 
the notes of Papebroke. See Touron, Hoinmes Illustres de I'Ordre de St. Dominique, t. 3 ; Fleury, 
b. no. 4 . , i, 

A. D. 1419. 

St. Vincent Ferrer was born at Valentia, in Spain, on the 23d of Jan- 
uary, 1357. His parents were persons distinguished for their virtue and 
almsdeeds. They made it their rule to distribute in alms whatever they 
could save out of the necessary expenses of their family at the end of every 
year. Two of their sons became eminent in the church — Boniface, who 
died general of the Carthusians, and St. Vincent, who brought with him 
into the world a happy disposition for learning and piety, which were im- 
proved from his cradle by study and a good education. In order to subdue 
his passions, he fasted rigorously from his childhood every Wednesday and 
Friday. The passion of Christ was always the object of his most tender 
devotion. The blessed Virgin he ever honored as his spiritual mother. 
Looking on the poor as the members of Christ, he treated them with the 
greatest affection and charity, which being observed by his parents, they 
made him the dispenser of their bountiful alms. They gave him for his 
portion the third part of their possessions, all which he in four days' time 


distributed among the poor. He began his course of philosophy at twelve 
years of age, and his theology at the end of his fourteenth year. His pro- 
gress was such that he seemed a master in both studies at the age of seven- 
teen, and by his affectionate piety he had obtained an eminent gift of tears 
in that tender age. His father having proposed to him the choice of a re- 
ligious, an ecclesiastical, or a secular state, Vincent, without hesitation, said, 
it was his earnest desire to consecrate himself to the service of God in the 
order of St. Dominick. His good parents with joy conducted him to a 
covenant of that order in Valentia, and he put on the habit in 1374, in the 
beginning of his eighteenth year. 

He made a surprisingly rapid progress in the paths of perfection, taking 
St. Dominick for his model. To the exercises of prayer and penance he 
joined the study and meditation of the holy scriptures, and the reading of the 
fathers. Soon after his solemn profession, he was deputed to read lectures 
of philosophy, and at the end of his course, published a treatise on Dialectic 
Suppositions, being not quite twenty-four years old. He was then sent to 
Barcelona, where he continued his scholastic exercises, and at the same 
time preached the word of God with great fruit, especially during a great fam- 
ine, when he foretold the arrival of two vessels loaded with corn, the same 
evening, to relieve the city ; which happened, contrary to all expectation. 
From thence he was sent to Lerida, the most famous university of Catalonia. 
There contiiming his apostolic functions and scholastic disputations, he com- 
menced doctor, receiving the cap from the hands of cardinal Peter de Luna, 
legate of pope Clement VH., in 1384, being twenty-eight years of age. At 
the earnest importunities of the bishop, clergy, and people of Valentia, he 
was recalled to his own country, and pursued there both his lectures and his 
preaching with such extraordinary reputation, and so manifestly attended 
with the benediction of the Almighty, that he was honored in the whole 
country above what can be expressed. As a humiliation, God permitted 
an angel of Satan to molest him with violent temptations of the flesh, and to 
fill his imagination with filthy ideas, the fiend rather hoping to disturb than 
seduce him. Also a wicked woman who entertained a criminal passion for 
our saint, feigned herself sick, and sending for him, on pretence of hearing 
her confession, took that occasion to declare to him her vicious inclinations, 
and did all in her power to pervert him. The saint, like another Joseph, in 
the utmost horror, and in an humble distrust of himself, without staying to 
answer her one word, betook himself to flight. The unhappy woman, en- 
raged at his conduct, acted the part of Potiphar's wife in calumniating him. 
But her complaints meeting with little or no credit, she, upon reflection, be- 
came sensible of her fault : and being stung with remorse, made him public 
amends to the best of her power. The saint most readily pardoned her, and 
cured a disturbance of mind into which she was fallen. The arms which 
the saint employed against the devil were prayer, penance, and a perpetual 
watchfulness over every impulse of his passions. His heart was always 
fixed on God, and he made his studies, labor, and all his other actions, a con- 
tinued prayer. The same practice he proposes to all Christians,, in his book 
entitled : A Treatise on a Spiritual Life, in which he writes thus : " Do you 
desire to study to your advantage ? Let devotion accompany all your studies, 
and study less to make yourself learned than to become a saint. Consult 
God more than your books, and ask him, with humility, to make you under- 
stand what you read. Study fatigues and drains the mind and heart. Go 
from time to time to refresh them at the feet of Jesus Christ under his cross. 
Some moments of repose in his sacred wounds give fresh vigor and new 
lights. Interrupt your application by short, but fervent and ejaculatory pray- 
ers : never begin or end your study but by prayer. Science is a gift of the 


April 5.] s, vincent ferrer, c. 31 

Father of lights : do not therefore consider it as barely the work of your own 
mind or industry." He always composed his sermons at the foot of a cru- 
cifix, both to beg light from Christ crucified, and to draw from that object 
sentiments wherewith to animate his auditors to penance and the love 
of God. 

St. Vincent had lived thus six years at Valentia, assiduously pursuing his 
apostolical labors, under great persecutions from the devils and carnal men, 
but in high esteem among the virtuous, when cardinal Peter de Luna, legate 
of Clement VII. in Spain, was appointed to go from thence in the same ca- 
pacity to Charles IV., king of France. Arriving at Valentia in 1390, he 
obliged the saint to accompany him into France. While the cardinal, who 
had too much of the spirit of the world, was occupied in politics, Vincent 
had no other employ or concern than that of the conversion of souls, and of 
the interests of |esus Christ : and the fruits of his labors in Paris were not 
less than they had been in Spain. In the beginning of the year 1394, the 
legate returned to Avignon, and St. Vincent, refusing his invitations to the 
court of Clement VII., went to Valentia. Clement VII. dying at Avignon, 
in 1394, during the great schism, Peter de Luna was chosen pope by the 
French and Spaniards, and took the name of Benedict XIII. He command- 
ed Vincent to repair to Avignon, and made him Master of the Sacred Pal- 
ace. The saint labored to persuade Benedict to put an end to the schism, 
but obtained only promises, which the ambitious man often renewed, but al- 
ways artfully eluded. Vincent in the mean time applied himself to his usual 
functions, and by his preaching reformed the city of Avignon ; but, to breathe 
a free air of solitude, he retired from court to a convent of his order. Bene- 
dict offered him bishoprics and a cardinal's hat ; but he steadfastly refused 
all dignities ; and, after eighteen months, earnestly entreated to be appoint- 
ed apostolical missionary ; and so much did the opinion of his sanctity 
prevail, that the opposing his desire was deemed an opposition to the will 
of heaven. Benedict therefore granted his request, gave him his benediction, 
and invested him with the power of apostolical missionary, constituting him 
also his legate and vicar. 

Before the end of the year 1398, St. Vincent being forty-tv/o years old, 
set out from Avignon towards Valentia. He preached in every town with 
wonderful efficacy, and the people having heard him in one place, followed 
him in crowds to others. Public usurers, blasphemers, debauched women, 
and other hardened sinners, everywhere were induced by his discourses to 
embrace a life of penance. Pie converted a prodigious number of Jews and 
Mahometans, heretics, and schismatics. He visited every province of Spain 
in this manner, except Galicia. He returned thence into France, and made 
some stay in Languedoc, Provence, and Dauphint'. He went thence into 
Italy, preaching on the coasts of Genoa, inPjombardy, Piedmont, and Sa- 
voy : as he did in part of Germany, about the Upper Rhine, and through 
Flanders. Such was the fame of his missions, that Henry IV., king of Eng- 
land, wrote to him in the most respectful terms, and sent his letter by a gen- 
tleman of his court, entreating him to preach also in his dominions. He ac- 
cordingly sent one of his own ships to fetch him from the coast of France, 
and received him with the greatest honors. The saint having employed 
some time in giving the king wholesome advice both for himself and his sub- 
jects, preached in the chief towns of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Re- 
turning into France, he did the same, from Gascony to Picardy. Numerous 
wars, and the unhappy great schism in the church, had been productive of a 
multitude of disorders in Christendom ; gross ignorance, and a shocking 
corruption of manners, prevailed in many places ; whereby the teaching of 
this zealous apostle, who, like another Boanerges, preached in a voice of 



tlinnder, became not only useful, but even absolutely necessary, to assist the 
weak and alarm the sinner. The ordinary subjects of his sermons were sin, 
death, God's judgments, hell, and eternity. He delivered his discourses with 
so much energy, that he fdled the most insensible with terror. While he was 
preaching one day at Thoulouse, his whole auditory was seized with trem- 
bling. At his sermons persons often fainted away, and he was frequently 
obliged to stop, to give leisure for the venting of the sobs and sighs of the 
congregation. His sermons were not only pathetic, but were also address- 
ed to the understanding, and supported with a wonderful strength of reason- 
ing, and the authorities of scriptures and fathers, which he perfectly under- 
stood and employed as occasion required. His gift of miracles, and the 
sanctity of his penitential life, gave to his words the greatest weight. Amidst 
these journeys and fatigues he never ate flesh, fasted every day, except Sun- 
days, and on Wednesdays and Fridays he lived on bread and water, which 
course he held for forty years : he lay on straw or small twigs. He 
spent a great part of the day in the confessional with incredible patience, 
and there finished what he had begun in the pulpit. He had with him five 
friars of his order, and some other priests to assist him. Though by his 
sermons thousands were moved to give their possessions to the poor, he 
never accepted any thing himself; and was no less scrupulous in cultiva- 
ting in his heart the virtue and spirit of obedience, than that of poverty ; for 
which reason he declined accepting any dignity in the church or superiority 
in his order. He labored thus near twenty years, till 1417, in Spain, Ma- 
jorca, Italy, and France. During this time preaching in Catalonia, among 
other miracles, he restored to the use of his limbs John Soler, a crippled 
boy, judged by the physicians incurable, who afterwards became a very emi- 
nent man, and bishop of Barcelona. In the year 1400, he was at Aix, in 
Provence: in 1401, in Piedmont, and the neighboring parts of Italy, being 
honorably received in the Obedience* of each pope. Returning into Savoy 
and Dauphinc, he found there a valley called Vaupute, or Valley of Corrup- 
tion, in which the inhabitants were abandoned to cruelty and shameful lusts. 
After long experience of their savage manners, no minister of the gospel durst 
hazard himself among them. Vincent was ready to suffer all things to gain 
souls, and to snatch from the devil a prey which he had already seemingly 
devoured. He joyfully exposed his life among these abandoned wretches, 
converted them all from their errors and vices, and changed the name of 
the valley into Valpure, or Valley of Purity, which name it ever after 

Being at Geneva in 1403, he wrote a letter to his general, still extant, in 
which, among other things, he informed him, that after singing mass he 
preached twice or thrice every day, preparing his sermons while he was on 
the road : that he had employed three months in travelling from village to 
village, and from town to town, in Dauphine, announcing the word of God ; 
making a longer stay in three valleys in the diocese of Embrun, namely, 
Lucerna, Argenteya, and Vaupute, having converted almost all the heretics 
which peopled those parts : that being invited in the most pressing manner 
into Piedmont, he for thirteen months preached and instructed the people 
there, in Montserrat, and the valleys, and brought to the faith a multitude of 
Vaudois and other heretics. He says the general source of their heresy 
was ignorance and want of an instructor, and cries out : " I blush and trem- 
ble when I consider the terrible judgment impending on ecclesiastical supe- 
riors, who live at their ease in rich palaces, &c., while so many souls re- 
deemed by the blood of Christ are perishing. I pray without ceasing the 

* During the grand schism in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, those countries which acknowledged 
each pope were called his Obedience. 

April 5.] s. vincent ferrer, c. 33 

Lord of the harvest that he send good workmen into his harvest.''''^ He adds, 
that he had in the valley of Luferia converted an heretical bishop by a con- 
ference ; and extirpated a certain infamous heresy in the valley Pontia ; 
converted the country into which the murderers of St. Peter, the martyr, had 
fled ; had reconciled the Guelphs and Ghibelins, and settled a general peace 
in Lombardy. Being called back into Piedmont by the bishops and lords of 
that country, he stayed five months in the dioceses of Aoust, Tarentaise, St. 
John of Morienne, and Grenoble. He says he vv^as then at Geneva, where 
he had abolished a very inveterate superstitious festival, a thing the bishop 
durst not attempt ; and was going to Lausanne, being called by the bishop to 
preach to many idolaters who adored the sun, and to heretics who were ob- 
stinate, daring, and very numerous on the frontiers of Germany. Thus in 
his letter. Spondanus,^ and many others say, the saint was honored with 
the gift of tongues, and that, preaching in his own, he was understood by 
men of different languages ; which is also affirmed by Lanzano, who says 
that Greeks, Germans, Sardes, Hungarians, and people of other nations, de- 
clared they understood every word he spoke, though he preached in Latin, 
or in his mother tongue, as spoken at Valentia.* Peter de Luna, called Ben- 
edict XHL, sent for him out of Lorraine to Genoa, promising to lay aside 
all claim to the papacy. The saint obeyed, and represented to him the evils 
of the schism, which would be all laid to his charge ; but he spoke to one 
that was deaf to such counsels. He preached with more success to the 
people of Genoa for a month, and travelled again through France and Flan- 
ders, and from thence, in 1406, over all the dominions of Henry VL, king 
of England. The years 1407 and 1408, he employed in reforming the man- 
ners of the people of Poitou, Gascony, Languedoc, Provence, and Auvergne : 
at Clermont is still shown the pulpit in which he preached in 1407. An in- 
scription in a church at Nevers testifies the same of that city : he was again 
at Aix in October, 1408. Benedict XIH. being returned from Genoa, stop- 
ped at Marseilles, and came no more to Avignon, but in 1408 went to Per- 
pignan. In the same year the Mahometan king of the Moors, at Granada 
in Spain, hearing the reputation of St. Vincent, invited him to his court. 
The saint took shipping at Marseilles, and preached to the Mahometans the 
gospel with great success at Granada, and converted many ; till some of the 
nobles, fearing the total subversion of their religion, obliged the king to dis- 
miss him. He then labored in the kingdom of Aragon, and again in Cata- 
lonia, especially in the diocese of Gironne and Vich ; in a borough of the lat- 
ter he renewed the miracle of the multiplication of loaves, related at length 
in his life.^ At Barcelona, in 1409, he foretold to Martin, king of Aragon, 
the death of his son Martin, the king of Sicily, who was snatched away 
amidst his triumphs in the month of July. Vincent comforted the afflicted 
father, and persuaded him to a second marriage to secure the public peace 
by an heir to the crown. 

He cured innumerable sick everywhere, and at Valentia made a dumb 
woman speak, but told her she should ever after remain dumb, and that this 
was for the good of her soul ; charging her always to praise and thank God 
in spirit, to which instructions she promised obedience. He converted the 
Jews in great numbers in the diocese of Palencia, in the kingdom of Leon, 
as Mariana relates. He was invited to Pisa, Sienna, Florence, and Lucca, 
in 1410, whence, after having reconciled the dissensions that prevailed in 
those parts, he was recalled by John II., king of Castile. In 1411 he vis- 

1 Luke X. 2. 2 Spondan. ad an. 1403. 3 Bolland, p. 501, n. 23. 

* Baillet says he preached in French, Spanish, and Italian, and where these languages were not under- 
stood, in Latin : but alters his authors to suppress the miracle. 

Vol. II. — 5 



[April 5. 

ited the kingdoms of Castile, Leon, Murcia, Andalusia, Asturias, and 
other countries ; in all which places the power of God was manifested in 
his enabling him to work miracles, and effect the conversion of an incredi- 
ble number of Jews and sinners. The Jews of Toledo embracing the faith, 
changed their synagogue into a church, under the name of Our Lady's. 
From Valladolid, the saint went to Salamanca, in the beginning of the year 
1412, where, meeting the corpse of a man who had been murdered, and was 
carrying on a bier, he, in the presence of a great multitude, commanded 
the deceased to arise, when the dead man instantly revived ; for a monu- 
ment of which a wooden cross was erected, and is yet to be seen on the 
spot. In the same city the saint entered the Jewish synagogue with a 
cross in his hand, and, replenished with the Holy Ghost, made so moving a 
sermon, that the Jews, who were at first surprised, at the end of his dis- 
course all desired baptism, and changed their synagogue into a church, to 
which they gave the title of the Holy Cross. Sut St. Vincent was called 
away to settle the disputes which had for two years disturbed the tranquil- 
lity of the kingdom of Aragon, concerning a successor to the crown. The 
states of Aragon, Catalonia, and Valentia were divided. The most power- 
ful among the Catalonians were for choosing count Urgel, but the bishop of 
Saragossa, who opposed his election, being murdered, so impious and inhu- 
man a crime occasioned a general detestation of that candidate, destroyed 
his interest, and was an alarm to a civil war. At last the states of the three 
kingdoms agreed to choose nine commissaries, three for each kingdom, who 
were to assemble in the castle of Caspe in Aragon, on the river Ebro, to 
decide the contest, which was to be determined by the concurrence of not 
less than six of the commissaries appointed for this purpose. St. Vincent, 
his brother, Boniface the Carthusian, and Don Peter Bertrand, were the 
three commissaries for the kingdom of Valentia. The saint therefore left 
Castile to repair to Caspe. Ferdinand of Castile was declared the next 
heir in blood, and lawful king, by the unanimous consent of the commissa- 
ries. St. Vincent on that occasion made an harangue to the foreign am- 
bassadors and people present, and when he had named Ferdinand king, a 
prince highly esteemed for his valor, virtue, and moderation, the acclama- 
tions of all present testified their approbation. Ferdinand hastened to Sar- 
agossa, and was proclaimed on the 3d of September, 1412. He made the 
saint his preacher and confessor ; yet the holy man continued his usual la- 
bors throughout Spain and the adjacent isles, and seemed to take more pleas- 
ure in teaching an ignorant shepherd on the mountains, than in preaching 
to the court. After having long endeavored to move Peter de Luna to resign 
his pretensions to the papacy, but finding him obstinate, he advised king Fer- 
dinand to renounce his obedience, in case he refused to acknowledge the 
council of Constance ; which that prince did by a solemn edict, dated the 
6th of January in 1416, by the advice of the saint, as Oderic Raynold, Ma- 
riana, and Spondanus most accurately relate.* The saint labored zealously 
to bring all Spain to this union, and was sent by king Ferdinand to assist 
at the council of Constance. He preached through Spain, Languedoc, and 
Burgundy in his way thither. The fathers of the council pressed his arri- 
val, and deputed Hannibaldi, cardinal of St. Angelus, to consult him at 
Dijon, in 1417. Gerson wrote to him also an earnest letter expressing a 

high esteem for his person.^ But it does not appear that St. Vincent ever 
arrived at Constance, notwithstanding Dupin and some others think he did. 

i Gerson, t. 2, p. 658, ed. nov. 

* Their authority renders the mistake of Fleurj-'s contimiator inexcusable, who pretends that the saint 
only acted in compliance with the king's inclination. 

April 5.] s. vincent ferrer, c. 35 

The saint's occupations made him leave few writings to posterity. The 
chief of his Avorks now extant, are, A Treatise on a Spiritual Life, or. On 
the Interior Man, A Treatise on the Lord's Prayer, A Consolation under 
Temptations, Against Faith, and Seven Epistles.* 

St. Vincent having labored some time in Burgundy, went from Dijon to 
Bourges, where he continued his apostolical functions with equal zeal. In 
that city he received pressing letters from John V., duke of Brittany, in- 
viting him to visit his dominions. The saint, convinced it was a call from 
God, passed by Tours, Angers, and Nantz, in his way thither, being every- 
where received as an angel from heaven, and in all places curing the sick, 
and converting sinners. The duke resided at Vannes: in which city the 
saint was received by the clergy, nobility, and people in bodies, and the 
sovereign thought no honors sufficient to testify his esteem of his merit. 
St. Vincent preached there from the fourth Sunday of Lent till Easter- 
Tuesday, of the year 1417, and foretold the duchess that the child she then 
bore in her womb would one day be duke of Brittany, which came to pass, 
for the eldest son then alive died without issue. AH the dioceses, towns, 
and countries of Brittany heard this apostle with great fruit, and were wit- 
nesses of his miracles. His age and infirmities were far from abating any 
thing of his zeal and labors ; he rooted out vices, superstitions, and all man- 
ner of abuses, and had the satisfaction to see a general reformation of man- 
ners throughout the whole province. Out of Brittany he wrote letters into 
Castile, by which he engaged the bishops, nobility, and Don Alphonsus, 
regent of that kingdom for king John the Second, yet a minor, to renounce 
Peter de Luna as an antipope, and acknowledge the council of Constance, 
to which they accordingly sent ambassadors, who were received with joy at 
Constance, on the 3d of April, 1417. Pope Martin V., elected by the coun- 
cil in November, wrote to the saint, and deputed to him Montanus, an emi- 
nent theologian, confirming all his missionary faculties and authority. Hen- 
ry v., king of England, being then at Caen in Normandy, entreated the 
saint to extend his zeal to that province. He did so ; and Normandy and 
Brittany were the theatre of the apostle's labors the two last years of his 
life. He was then sixty years old, and so worn out and weak that he was 
scarce able to walk a step without help ; yet no sooner was he in the pul- 
pit, but he spoke with as much strength, ardor, eloquence, and unction, as 
he had done in the vigor of his youth. He restored to health on the spot 
one that had been bedrid eighteen years, in the presence of a great multi- 
tude, and wrought innumerable other miracles ; among which we may 
reckon as the greatest the conversions of an incredible number of souls. 
He inculcated everywhere a detestation of lawsuits, swearing, lying, and 
other sins, especially of blasphemy. 

Falling at last into a perfect decay, his companions persuaded him to re- 
turn to his own country. Accordingly he set out with that view, riding on 
an ass, as was his ordinary manner of travelling in long journeys. But 


* The sermons printed in three volumes under his name, cannot be his work, as Dupin and Lappe ob- 
serve ; for his name is quoted in them, and they answer in nothing the character and spirit of this great 
man. Perhaps they were written by some one who had heard him and his companions preach. There 
is also a treatise On the End of the World, and On Antichrist, under his name. Some reprehend him for 
affirming the end of the world to he at hand ; but he meant no more than the apostles and fathers by the 
like expressions; for the duration of this world is short in reality, and in public calamities we have signs 
which continually put us in mind of its final dissolution, and might be well employed by this saint to 
move the people with a more lively faith to fear that terrible day. But only God knows the time ; and 
the fifth general council of Lateran forbids any preachers, on any conjectures whatsoever, to pretend to 
foretell or determine it, (Con. t, 14, p. 240,) though the time of God's judgment is certainly near to every 
one by death. Some also found fault with the troops of penitents who followed Vincent with disciplines. 
Hut they were sincere penitents, in whom appeared the true spirit of compunction ; very opposite to the 
fanatic heretics of Germany, called Flagellantes, who placed penance entirely in that exterior grimace of 
disciplining or flagellation, teaching that it supplied the salutary purposes of the sacraments : not to men- 
tion other abuses which Gerson discreetly censures, t. 2, ed. nov. p. G60 



[April 5. 

after they were gone, as they imagined, a considerable distance, they found 
themselves again near the city of Vannes. Wherefore the saint, perceiving 
his illness increase, determined to return into the town, saying to his com- 
panions, that God had chosen that city for the place of his burial. The joy 
of the city was incredible when he appeared again, but it was allayed when 
he told them he was come, not to continue his ministry among them, but to 
look for his grave. These words, joined with a short exhortation which he 
made to impress on the people's minds their duty to God, made many to shed 
tears, and threw all into an excess of grief. His fever increasing, he pre- 
pared himself for death by exercises of piety, and devoutly receiving the 
sacraments. On the third day the bishop, clergy, magistrates, and part of 
the nobility, made him a visit. He conjured them to maintain zealously 
what he had labored to establish among them, exhorted them to perseverance 
in virtue, and promised to pray for them when he should be before the throne 
of God, saying he should go to the Lord after ten days. During that interval, 
under the pains of his distemper, he never opened his mouth about his suf- 
ferings only to thank almighty God for making him, by a share in the cross, 
to resemble his crucified Son : for he suffered the sharpest agonies not only 
with resignation and patience, but with exultation and joy. His prayer and 
union with God he never interrupted. The magistrates sent a deputation to 
him, desiring he would choose the place of his burial. They were afraid 
his order, which had then no convent in Vannes, would deprive the city of 
his remains. The saint answered, that being an unprofitable servant, and a 
poor religious man, it did not become him to direct any thing concerning his 
burial ; however, he begged they would preserve peace after his death, as he 
had ahvays inculcated to them in his sermons, and that they would be pleased 
to allow the prior of the convent of his order, which was the nearest to that 
town, to have the disposal of the place of his burial. He continued his as- 
pirations of love, contrition, and penance ; and often wished the departure 
of his soul from its fleshy prison, that it might the more speedily be swal- 
lowed up in the ocean of all good. On the tenth day of his illness, he 
caused the passion of our Saviour to be read to him, and after that recited 
the penitential psalms, often stopping totally absorbed in God. It was on 
Wednesday in Passion-Week, the 5th of April, that he slept in the Lord, in 
the year 1419, having lived, according to the most exact computation, sixty- 
two years, two months, and thirteen days. Joan of France, daughter of 
King Charles VL, duchess of Brittany, washed his corpse with her own 
hands. God showed innumerable miracles by that water and by the saint's 
habit, girdle, instruments of penance, and other relics, of which the detail 
may be read in the Bollandists. The duke and bishop appointed the cathe- 
dral for the place of his burial. He was canonized by pope Calixtus IIL 
in 1455. But the bull was only published in 1458, by pope Pius H. His 
relics were taken up in 1456. The Spaniards solicited to have them trans- 
lated to Valentia, and at last resolved to steal them, thinking them their own 
property, to prevent which the canons hid the shrine in 1590. It was found 
again in 1637, and a second translation was made on the 6th of September, 
when the shrine was placed on the altar of a new chapel in the same cathe- 
dral, where it is still exposed to veneration. 

The great humility of this saint appeared amidst the honors and applause 
which followed him. He wrote thus, from the sincere sentiments of his 
heart, in his treatise On a Spiritual Life, c. 16 : " My whole life is nothing 
but stench : I am all infection both in soul and body ; every thing in me ex- 
hales a smell of corruption, caused by the abominations of my sins and in- 
justices : and what is worse, I feel this stench increasing daily in me, and 

April 5.] 



renewed always more insupportably." He lays down this principle as the 
preliminary to all virtue, that a person be deeply grounded in humility ; 
" For whosoever will proudly dispute or contradict, will always stand with- 
out the door. Christ, the master of humility, manifests his truth only to the 
humble, and hides himself from the proud," c. 1, p. 70. He reduces the 
rules of perfection to the avoiding three things : First, the exterior distrac- 
tion of superfluous employs. Secondly, all interior secret elation of heart. 
Thirdly, all immoderate attachment to created things. Also to thie practising 
of three things : First, the sincere desire of contempt and abjection. Sec- 
ondly, the most affective devotion to Christ crucified. Thirdly, patience in 
bearing all things for the love of Christ, c. ult. 


Abbot of Seauve, or Sylva-major, near Bordeaux, who died on the 5th of 
April, 1095, and was canonized by Celestine H. in 1197. Papebroke, t. 1, 
Apr. p. 409. 


His father, Corbre, was a famous general, and his mother, Dearfraych, 
was daughter of an Irish king named Eochod. Tigernach was baptized by 
Conlathe, bishop of Kildare, St. Brigide being his godmother. In his 
youth he was carried away by pirates into Britain, and fell into the hands 
of a British king, who being taken with his virtue, placed him in the mon- 
astery of Rosnat. In the school of affliction he learned the emptiness of all 
earthly enjoyments, and devoted himself with his whole heart to the pursuit 
of true happiness in the service of God. When he returned into Ireland, 
he was compelled to receive episcopal consecration, but declined the admin- 
istration of the see of Clogher, to which he was chosen upon the death of 
bishop Mac-karten, in 506. He founded the abbey of Cluanois, or Clones, 
in the county of Mouaghan, where he fixed his episcopal see, now united to 
that of Clogher. He taught a great multitude to serve God in primitive pu- 
rity and simplicity. In his old age he lost his sight, and spent his time in a 
lonesome cell in continual prayer and contemplation, by which he in some 
measure anticipated the bliss of heaven, to which he passed in 550, accord- 
ing to bishop Usher. See his Acts in Henschenius. 


Son of Murchade and Cula, of the regal family of Munster, contemporary 
with king Dermitius and St. Columb-Kille. In building his church, he 
worked frequently on his knees, and while his hands were employed at his 
work, he ceased not praying with his lips, his eyes at the same time stream- 
ing with tears of devotion. In the life of St. Molossus he is named among 
the twelve apostles of Ireland : and in the Festilogium of ^Engus, on the 
21st of March, he is said to be, with St. Endeus and St. Mochua, one of 
the three greatest champions of virtue, and leaders of saints in that fruitful 
age of holy men. See Colgan, MSS. ad 5 Apr. 

38 s. sixTus I., p. M. [April 6. 



See Eus. b. 4, c. 4, 5. TUlemont, t. 2, p. 262. 

This holy pope succeeded St. Alexander about the end of the reign of 
Trajan, and governed the church ten years, at a time when that dignity was 
the common step to martyrdom ; and in all martyrologies he is honored with 
the title of martyr. But it seems to be Sixtus II. who is mentioned in the 
canon of the mass, whose martyrdom was more famous in the church. A 
portion of the relics of St. Sixtus I., given by pope Clement X. to cardinal 
de Retz, was by him placed with great solemnity in the abbey of St. Michael 
in Lorraine.' 

Those primitive pastors who were chosen by God to be his great instru- 
ments in propagating his holy faith, were men eminently endued with the 
spirit of the most heroic Christian charity, so that we wonder not so much 
that their words and example were so powerful in converting the world, as 
that any could be so obstinate as to resist the spirit with which they de- 
livered the divine oracles, and the miracles and sanctity of their lives, with 
which they confirmed their mission. What veneration must not the morality 
of the gospel command, when set off with all its lustre in the lives and spirit 
of those who profess it, seeing its bare precepts are allowed by deists and 
infidels themselves to be most admirable, and evidently divine ! Only the 
maxims of the gospel teach true and pure virtue, and are such as extort ap- 
plause from its enemies. The religion of a God crucified is the triumph over 
self-love ; it commands us to tame our rebellious flesh, and subject it to the 
spirit ; to divest ourselves of the old man, and to clothe ourselves with the 
new ; to forget injuries and to pardon enemies. In these virtues, in this 
sublime disposition of soul, consists true greatness ; not in vain titles and 
empty names. Religion, barely for the maxims which it lays down, and in 
which it is founded, claims the highest respect. The morality of the wisest 
pagan philosophers was mingled with several shocking errors and extrava- 
gances, and their virtues were generally defective in their motives. Worldly 
heroism is founded in vice or human weaknesses. It is at the bottom no 
better than a base ambition, avarice, or revenge, which makes many despise 
death, though they gild over their courage with the glorious name of zeal 
for their prince or country. Worldly actions spring not from those noble 
motives which appear, but from some base disorder of the soul or secret 
passion. Among the heathen philosophers, the Stoic led an austere life ; 
but for the sake of a vain reputation. Thus he only sacrificed one passion 
to another ; and while he insulted the Epicurean for his voluptuousness, 
was himself the dupe of his own illusion. 

1 Baron, ad an. 154. 

April 6.] 





From their genuine acts in Syriac, published by Assemani, 1. 1, p. 105. 

A. D. 345. 

In the fifth year of our persecution, say the acts, Sapor being at Seleucia, 
caused to be apprehended in the neighboring places one hundred and twenty 
Christians, of which nine were virgins, consecrated to God ; the others were 
priests, deacons, or of the inferior clergy. They lay six months in filthy 
stinking dungeons, till the end of winter : during all which space Jazdun- 
docta, a very rich virtuous lady of Arbela, the capital city of Hadiabena, 
supported them by her charities, not admitting of a partner in that good work. 
During this interval they were often tortured, but always courageously an- 
swered the president that they would never adore the sun, a mere creature, 
for God ; and begged he would finish speedily their triumph by death, which 
would free them from dangers and insults. Jazdundocta, hearing from the 
court one day that they were to suffer the next morning, flew to the prison, 
gave to every one of them a fine white long robe, as to chosen spouses of 
the heavenly bridegroom ; prepared for them a sumptuous supper, served 
and waited on them herself at table, gave them wholesome exhortations, and 
read the holy scriptures to them. They were surprised at her behavior, but 
could not prevail on her to tell them the reason. The next morning she re- 
turned to the prison, and told them she had been informed that that was the 
happy morning in which they were to receive their crown, and be joined to 
the blessed spirits. She earnestly recommended herself to their prayers for 
the pardon of her sins, and that she might meet them at the last day, and live 
eternally with them. Soon after, the king's order for their immediate exe- 
cution was brought to the prison. As they went out of it Jazdundocta met 
them at the door, fell at their feet, took hold of their hands, and kissed them. 
The guards hastened them on, with great precipitation, to the place of exe- 
cution ; where the judge who presided at their tortures asked them again if 
any of them would adore the sun, and receive a pardon. They answered, 
that their countenance must show him they met death with joy, and con- 
temned this world and its light, being perfectly assured of receiving an im- 
mortal crown in the kingdom of heaven. He then dictated the sentence of 
death, whereupon their heads were struck off. Jazdundocta, in the dusk of 
the evening, brought out of the city two undertakers, or embalmers for each 
body, caused them to wrap the bodies in fine linen, and carry them in coffins, 
for fear of the Magians, to a place at a considerable distance from the town. 
There she buried them in deep graves, with monuments, five and five in a 
grave. They were of the province called Hadiabena, which contained the 
greatest part of the ancient Assyria, and was in a manner peopled by Chris- 
tians. Helena, queen of the Hadiabenians, seems to have embraced Chris- 
tianity in the second century.' Her son Izates, and his successors, much 
promoted the faith ; so that Sozomen says^ the country was almost entirely 
Christian. These one hundred and twenty martyrs suffered at Seleucia, in 
the year of Christ 345, of king Sapor the thirty-sixth, and the sixth of his 
great persecution, on the 6th day of the moon of April, which was the 21st 
of that month. They are mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on the 6th. 

1 See Baronius ad an. 44, n. 66. 

2 Sozom. b. 2, c. 12. 

40 S. CELESTINE, P. C. [ApRIL 6. 


He was a native of Rome, and held a distinguished place in the clergy of 
that city, when, upon the demise of pope Boniface, he was chosen to suc- 
ceed him, in September, 422, by the wonderful consent of the whole city, 
as St. Austin writes. That father congratulated him upon his exaltation, 
and conjured him, by the memory of St. Peter, who abhorred all violence 
and tyranny, not to patronize Antony, bishop of Fussala, who had been con- 
victed of those crimes, and on that account condemned, in a council of Nu- 
midia, to make satisfaction to those whom he had oppressed by rapine and 
extortion. This Antony was a young man, and was formerly a disciple of 
St. Austin, by whom he had been recommended to the episcopal dignity. 
This promotion made him soon forget himself, and lay aside his virtuous dis- 
positions : and falling, first by pride, he abandoned himself to covetousness 
and other passions. St. Austin, fearing lest by the share he had in his pro- 
motion his crimes would be laid to his own charge, was of all others the 
most zealous and active to see them checked. Antony had gained his pri- 
mate, the metropolitan of Numidia, who presided in the council by which he 
was condemned. Hoping also to surprise the pope by his artful pretences, 
he appealed to Rome. Boniface seeing the recommendation of his primate, 
wrote to the bishops of Numidia, recfuiring them to reinstate him in his see, 
provided he had represented matters as they truly were. Antony returning 
to Fussala, threatened the inhabitants that, unless they consented to receive 
him as their lawful bishop, in compliance with the orders of the apostolic see, 
he would call in the imperial troops and commissaries to compel them. Pope 
Boniface dying, St. Austin informed St. Celestine of these proceedings, who 
finding Antony fully con^dcted of the crimes with which he was charged, 
confirmed the sentence of the council of Numidia, and deposed him. " From 
these letters, that were written by the Africans on this occasion," says Mr. 
Bower,' " it appears, that the bishops of Rome used in those days to send 
some of their ecclesiastics into Africa, to see the sentences which they had 
given executed there ; and that those ecclesiastics came with orders from 
the court for the civil magistrates to assist them, where assistance should be 
required." Saint Celestine wrote to the bishops of Illyricum, confirming the 
archbishop of Thessalonica vicar of the apostolic see in those parts. To 
the bishops of the provinces of Vienne and Narbonne in Gaul, he wrote, to 
correct several abuses, and ordered, among other things, that absolution or 
reconciliation should never be refused to any dying sinner, who sincerely 
asked it ; for repentance depends not so much on time, as on the heart. In 
the beginning of this letter he says : " By no limits of place is my pastoral 
vigilance confined : it extendeth itself to all places where Christ is adored." 
He received two letters from Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, in which 
his heresy was artfully couched ; also an information from St. Cyril, patri- 
arch of Alexandria, concerning his errors. Wherefore he assembled a 
synod at Rome, in 430, in which the writings of that heresiarch were exam- 
ined, and his blasphemies in maintaining in Christ a divine and a human 
person were condemned. The pope denounced an excommunication against 
him, if he did not repent of his errors within ten days after the sentence 
should be notified to him, and wrote to St. Cyril, commissioning him, in his 
name, and by the authority of his see, to execute the same.* Nestorius re- 

1 Lives of the Popes, 1. 1, p. 369, Lond. edit. 
* Anthoritate tecum nostras sedis adscita, nostra vice usus banc esequfiris sententiam. 

April 6.] 

S. WILLIAM, A. c. 


maining obstinate, a general council was convened at Ephesus, towliicli St. 
Celestine sent three legates from Rome, Arcadius and Projectus, bishops, 
and Philip, priest, with instructions to join themselves to St. Cyril. He also 
sent a letter to the council, in which he said that he had commissioned his 
legates to see executed what had been already decreed by him in his coun- 
cil at Rome. He exhorts the fathers to charity, so much recommended by 
the apostle St. John, "whose relics," as he writes, "were there the object 
of their veneration."* This letter was read in the council with great accla- 
mations. The synod was held in the great church of the Blessed Virgin, 
on the 22d of June, 431 : in the first session one hundred and ninety-eight 
bishops were present. St. Cyril sat first as president,^ in the name of St. 
Celestine.^ Nestorius refused to appear, though in the city, and showing 
an excess of madness and obstinacy, was excommunicated and deposed. It 
cost the zeal of the good pope much more pains to reconcile the Oriental 
bishops with St. Cyril : which, however, was at length effected. Certain 
priests in Gaul continued still to cavil at the doctrine of St. Austin, concern- 
ing the necessity of divine grace. St. Celestine therefore wrote to the bish- 
ops of Gaul, ordering such scandalous novelties to be repressed ; highly ex- 
tolling the piety and learning of St. Austin, whom his predecessors had hon- 
ored among the most deserving and eminent doctors of the church, and 
whose character rumor could never asperse nor suspicion tarnish.'* Being 
informed that one Agricola, the son of a British bishop called Severianus, 
who had been married before he was raised to the priesthood, had spread 
the seeds of the Pelagian heresy in Britain, he sent thither, in quality of 
his vicar, St. Germanus of Auxerre, whose zeal and conduct happily pre- 
vented the threatening danger. f He also sent St. Palladius, a Roman, to 
preach the faith to the Scots, both in North-Britain and in Ireland. Many 
authors of the life of St. Patrick say that apostle likewise received his com- 
mission to preach to the Irish from St. Celestine, in 431. This holy pope 
died on the 1st of August, in 432, having sat almost ten years. He was 
buried in the cemetery of Priscilla, which, to testify his respect for the coun- 
cil of Ephesus, he had ornamented with paintings, in which that synod was 
represented. His remains were afterwards translated into the church of St. 
Praxedes. His ancient original epitaph testifies that he was an excellent 
bishop, honored and beloved of every one, who for the sanctity of his life 
now enjoys the sight of Jesus Christ, and the eternal honors of the saints. 
The same is the testimony of the Roman Martyrology on this day. See 
Tillemont, t. 14, p. 148 ; Ceillier, t. 13, p. 1. 


He was born of an illustrious family in Paris, about the year 1105, and 
received his education in the abbey of St. Germain-des-Prez, under his un- 
cle Hugh, the abbot. By the regularity of his conduct, and the sanctity of 
his manners, he was the admiration of the whole community. Having fin- 
ished his studies, he was ordained sub-deacon, and installed canon in the 
church of St. Genevieve-du-Mont. His assiduity in prayer, love of retire- 
ment and mortification, and exemplary life, seemed a troublesome censure of 
the slothful and worldly life of his colleagues ; and what ought to have 
gained him their esteem and afi'ection, served to provoke their envy and 

2 Cone. t. 3, pp. 656 and 980. 
* Ep. 21, ad Gallos. 

St. Leo, ep. 72, can. 3. 

3 lb. t. 4, p. 562, in Cone. Chaleed. 

* Cujus reliqnias prasentes veneramini, ep. ad Cone. 1159. 

t Vice sua, S. Prosp. in Chron. 

Vol. II. — 6 



[April 6. 

malice against him. Having in vain endeavored to prevail on this reformer 
of their chapter, as they called him, to resign his canonry, in order to re- 
move him at a distance, they presented him to the curacy of Epinay, a 
church five leagues from Paris, depending on their chapter. But not long 
after, pope Eugenius III. coming to Paris, in 1147, and being informed of 
the irregular conduct of these canons, he commissioned the celebrated Suger, 
abbot of St. Denys, and prime minister to King Louis the Young, to expel 
them, and introduce in their room regular canons from the abbey of St. Vic- 
tor : which w^as happily carried into execution, Eudo of St. Victor's being 
made the first abbot. St. William with joy embraced this institute, and was 
by his fervor and devotion a pattern to the most perfect. He was in a short 
time chosen sub-prior. The perfect spirit of religion and regularity which 
he established in that community, was an illustrious proof of the incredible 
influence which the example of a prudent superior has over docile religious 
minds. His zeal for regular discipline he tempered with so much sweet- 
ness and modesty in his injunctions, that made all to love the precept itself, 
and to practise with cheerfulness whatever was prescribed them. The 
reputation of his wisdom and sanctity reached the ears of Absalon, bishop 
of Roschild, in Denmark, who, being one of the most holy prelates of his 
age, earnestly sought to allure him into his diocese. He sent the provost of 
his church, who seems to have been the learned historian Saxo the Gram- 
marian, to Paris on this errand. A prospect of labors and dangers for the 
glory of God was a powerful motive with the saint, and he cheerfully under- 
took the voyage. The bishop appointed him abbot of Eskille, a monastery 
of regular canons which he had reformed. Here St. William sanctified him- 
self by a life of prayer and austere mortification ; but had much to suffer 
from the persecutions of powerful men, from the extreme poverty of his 
house in a severe climate, and, above all, from a long succession of interior 
trials : but the most perfect victory over himself was the fruit of his con- 
stancy, patience, and meekness. On prayer was his chief dependence, and 
it proved his constant support. During the thirty years of his abbacy, he 
had the comfort to see many walk with fervor in his steps. He never left 
off wearing his hair-shirt, lay on straw, and fasted every day. Penetrated 
with a deep sense of the greatness and sanctity of our mysteries, he never 
approached the altar without watering it with his tears, making himself a 
victim to God in the spirit of adoration and sacrifice, together with, and 
through the merits of the holy victim off'ered thereon : the dispositions in 
which every Christian ought to assist at it. He died on the 6th of April, 
1203, and was canonized by Honorius III. in 1224. See his life by a dis- 
ciple in Surius, and at large in Papebroke's Continuation of BoUandus, t. 1, 
Apr. p. 620. Also M. Gourdan in his MSS. Lives of Illustrious Men among 
the regular Canons at St. Victor's, in Paris, kept in the library of MSS. in 
that house, in fol. t. 2, pp. 324 and 814. 


He was by birth a Spaniard ; but fled from the swords of the infidels 
into France, where in 840, or 845, he was chosen bishop of Troyes. He 
was one of the most learned prelates of the Galilean church, and was con- 
sulted as an oracle. By his sermon on the Virgin St. Maura, we are in- 
formed that, besides his other functions and assiduity in preaching, he 
employed himself in hearing confessions, and in administering the sacra- 
ments of the holy eucharist and extreme imction. In his time Gotescalc, 
a wandering monk of the abbey of Orbasis, in the diocese of Soissons, ad- 

April 6.] 



vanced, in his travels, the errors of predestinarianisra, blasphemously- 
asserting that reprobates were doomed by God to sin and hell, without the 
power of avoiding either. Nottinge, bishop either of Brescia or Verona, 
sent an information of these blasphemies to Rabanus Maurus, archbishop 
of Mentz, one of the most learned and holy men of that age, and who had, 
while abbot of Fulde, made that house the greatest nursery of science in 
Europe.* Rabanus examined Gotescalc in a synod at Mentz in 848, con- 
demned his errors, and sent him to his own metropolitan Hiricmar, arch- 
bishop of Rheims, a prelate also of great learning and abiUties.' By him 
and Wenilo, archbishop of Sens, with several other prelates, the monk was 
again examined in a synod held at Quiercy on the Oise, in the diocese of 
Soissons, a royal palace of king Charles the Bald, in 849. Gotescalc 
being refractory, was condemned to be degraded from the priesthood, and 
imprisoned in the abbey of Haut-villiers in the diocese of Hincmar. By 
the advice of St. Prudentius, whom Hincmar consuhed, he was not deprived 
of the lay-communion till after some time Hincmar, seeing his obstinacy 
invincible, fulminated against him a sentence of excommunication, under 
which this unhappy author of much scandal and disturbance died, after 
twenty-one years of rigorous confinement, in 870. Some suspected Hinc- 
mar to lean towards the contrary Semipelagian error against the necessity 
of divine grace ; and Ratramnus of Corbie took up his pen against him. 
St. Prudentius wrote to clear up the point, which seemed perplexed by much 
disputing, and to set the Catholic doctrine in a true light, showing on one 
side a free will in man, and that Christ died for the salvation of all men ; 
and on the other, proving the necessity of divine grace, and that Christ 
offered up his death in a special manner for the salvation of the elect. 
When parties are once stirred up in disputes, it is not an easy matter to 
dispel the mist which prejudices and heat raise before their eyes. This 
was never more evident than on that occasion. Both sides agreed in doc- 
trine, yet did not understand one another. Lupus Servatus, the famous 
abbot of Ferrieres, in Gatinois, Amolan, archbishop of Lyons, and his 

1 T. 5, Concil. Harduin, pp. 15, 16. Annal. Fuldens. ad an. 848. 

* Rabanus Maurus was archbishop of Mentz from the year 847 to 856, in which he died, on the 4th of 
February, on which his name occurs in certain private German Martyrologies, though he has never been 
publicly honored among the Saints. See Holland. Febr. t. 1, p. 511, and Mabillon, t. 6; Act. SS. Bened. p. 
37. His works were printed at Mentz, in 1626, in six tomes. They consist of letters, comments on the 
holy scriptm-es, and several dogmatical and pious treatises. Tlie principal are his Instruction of the Cler- 
gy, and On the Ceremonies of Divine Offices, in three books ; and his Martyrology, which he compiled 
about the year 844. Dom. Bernard Fez published his pious discourse On the Passion of Christ. Anecdot. 
t. 4, part 2, p. 8. His poems, which fall short of his prose writings, %vere published by F. Brewer with 
those of Forlunatus. The Veni Creator is found among his writings, and in none more ancient; whence 
some ascribe to him that excellent hymn. He quotes the Gloria, laus et honor ; which is known to be the 
work of Theodulph, bishop of Orleans, who died in 821, and left us Capitulars and other works in prose, 
and some in verse, collected by F. Sirmond in 1646. See Opera P, Sirmundi. Venetiis, 1728, t. 2. 

Hincmar, a monk of St. Denis, chosen archbishop of Rheims in 84.5, died in 882. His letters are much 
better written than his other works, nor is the style so lax and diffusive. Sirmond published his works in 
two vols, folio, in 1645. F. Cellot added a third volume in 1658. 

Lupus, abbot of Ferrieres in Gatinois, (vi'hom ;ill now agree to have been the same person with Lupus 
Servatus, as F. Sirmond and Baluze have demonstrated against Mauguin,) died in 862. His letters and his 
famous treatise On the three Questions (relating to Predestination) are written in a nervous and elegant 
style. The most accurate editions are those of Balaze, in 1664, at Paris, and with additions at Leipsic in 
1710, (the title page says falsely at Antwerp.) 

Ainolon succeeded Agobard in the see of Lyons in 810, and died in 852. In the Library of the Fathers, 
t. 13 and 14, and in an appendix to the works of Agobard by Baluze, we have his works on Grace and 
Predestination, and his letter to Theutlaald, bishop of Langres, in which he orders him to remove out of 
the church, and bury decently certain doubtful relics, according to the i)ractice of St. Martin, and the de- 
cree of pope Gelasius. As to certain pretended miracles of women fiilling into convulsions, and being 
seized with pains before them, he commands them to be rejected and despised : for true miracles restore 
often health, but never cause sickness in such circtimstances. 

St. Remigius of Lyon, Amolon's successor, died on the 28th of October, 875, and is named among the 
Saints in the private calendars of Ferrari and Saussay. On his writings. On Grace and Predestina- 
tion, see Mabillon, Suppl. Diplom. p. 64, et in Analectis, p. 426, and F. Colonia, Hist, de Lyons, t. 2, 
p. 139. 

Florus, deacon of Lyons, and a learned professor, author of additions to Bede's MartjTology, -nnrote 
both against Gotescalc and John Scotus Erigena. See 1. 15, Bibl. Patr. and Baluze, t. 2, op. Agobardi. 


successor St. Remigius, wrote against Rabanus and Hincmar, in defence of tlie 
necessity of divine grace, though they condemned the blasphemies of the pre- 
destinarians. Even Amolan of Lyons and his church, who seem to have 
excused Gotescalc in the beginning, because they had never examined him, 
always censured the errors condemned in him : for the divine predestination of 
the elect is an article of faith ; but such a grace and predestination as destroy 
free-will in the creature, are a monstrous heresy. Neither did St. Remigius of 
Lyons, nor St. Prudentius, interest themselves in the defence of Gotescalc, 
which shows the inconsistency of those modems, who, in our time, have un- 
dertaken his justification.* In 853, Hincmar and other bishops published, in 
a second assembly at Quiercy, four Capitula, or assertions, to establish the 
doctrines of free-will, and of the death of Christ for all men. To these 
St. Prudentius subscribed, as Hincmar and the annals of St. Bertin testify. 
The church of Lyons Avas alarmed at these assertions, fearing they excluded 
the necessity of grace : and the council of Valence, in 855, in which St. 
Remigius of Lyons presided, published six canons, explaining, in very 
strong terms, the articles of the necessity of grace, and of the predestina- 
tion of God's elect. St. Prudentius procured the confirmation of these 
canons by pope Nicholas L in 859. Moreover, fearing the articles of 
Quiercy might be abused in favor of Pelagianism, though he had before 
approved them, he wrote his Tractatoria to confute the erroneous sense 
which they might bear in a Pelagian mouth, and to give a full exposition of 
the doctrine of divine grace. He had the greater reason to be upon his 
guard, seeing some, on the occasion of those disputes, openly renewed the 
Pelagian errors. John Scotus Erigena, an Irishman in the court of Charles 
the Bald, a subtle sophist, infamous for many absurd errors, both in faith 
and in philosophy,! published a book against Gotescalc, On Predestination, 
in which he openly advanced the Semipelagian errors against grace, besides 
other monstrous heresies. Wenilo, archbishop of Sens, having extracted 
nineteen articles out of this book, sent them to his oracle St. Prudentius, 
who refuted the entire book of Scotus by a treatise which is still extant. 
This saint, having exerted his zeal also for the discipline of the church, 
and the reformation of manners among the faithful, was named with Lupus, 
abbot of Ferrieres, to superintend and reform all the monasteries of France ; 
of which commission he acquitted himself Avith great vigor and prudence. 
He died on the 6th of April, 861, and is named in the Galilean martyrolo- 
gies, though not in the Roman 4 At Troyes he is honored with an office of 
nine lessons, and liis relics are exposed in a shrine.^ See Ceillier, t. 19, 

* Bishop Usher, Janseniiis, and Manrniiii are advocates for the Predestinarians ; consequently suspected 
persons in this history. Their vindication of Gotescalc is confuted by the Cardinal de Laiuea, Opusc. 1, 
c. 7, Nat. Alexander, F. Honorattis of St. Marv, and Tonrnely, in accurate dissertations on that subject. 
F. Ziegelbaver in the Hist. Liter. Ord. S. Bene'd. t. 3, p. 105, gives us both Card. Noris's Apology for Gotes- 
calc, and the Jesuit Du Mesnil's history of his heresy. 

t t^ee a catalogue of some of his errors and absurdities in Witasse's Tr. de Euchar. t. 1, p. 414, and in 
Mr. Paris, Diss, at the end of the Perpetuite de la Foi, art. 4. Had Dr. Cave lived to read these authors, 
or Maliillon, sa;e. 4 and 6, Bened. or Xat. Alexander. Hist. 9 and 10 ; Diss. 14, p. 359, t. 6, &c., he would 
not have confoiuided this John Scotus Erigena with John Scotus, abbot of Ethelinge, king Alfred's master, 
and one of the lirst professors at Oxford f nor is it likely he would have suppressed his errors, or the 
disgrace with which, by an express order of pope Nicholas I., he was expelled France. Hist. Liter, t. 5, 
p. 36. 

t It is strange that Baillet should imagine this to be the Prudentius named in the Roman MartjTology, 
as bishop of Tarracona, on the 28lh of April ; who, by the report of Tamayo and Lubin, was bishop of 
that see in 586, and his relics are shown there to this day. 

^ The BoUandists, p. 531, on the 6th of April, with Lewis Cellot, Hist. Gotescalc!, 1. 3, c. 9, charge 
Prudentius of Troyes with errors in doctrine, and with opposing Hincmar out of jealousy and revenge, 
because the archbishop, had seemed to infringe the rights of his church, according to the author of the 
Annates Britannici, who wrote within twenty years after his death. But this seems only a slander propa- 
gated by some of his adversaries. His writings, which are extant, t. 15, Bibl. Patr. p. 467, are understood 
in an orthodox sense by most learned Catholic theologians : at least we cannot doubt but he submitted 
them to the judgment of the Church. See Cacciari, Jlonitum in S. Leonis, ep- 136, t. 2, p. 452. 

The works of St. Prudentius, see t. 15, Bibl. Patr. His letter to his brother, who was a bishop, probably 
in Spain, is published by MabiUon. Analecta, p. 418. His panegyric On St. Maura, a virgin at Troyes, is 
extant in Surius ; and translated into French, and defended against Daill6, by Abb6 Breyer, canon at 
Troyes, at the end of his Defense de I'Eglise de Troyes, at Paris, 1725. 

April 7.] 



p. 27 ; Cleraencez, Hist. Litter, de la France, t. 5, p. 240 ; also Les Vies 
de S, Prudence de Troyes, et de S. Maure, Vierge, a Troyes, 1725 ; with 
an ample justification of this holy prelate : and Nicolas Antonio, Bibliotheca 
Hispanica Vetus, 1. 6, c. 1, an. 259, ad 279, which work was published at 
Rome by the care of Card. D'Aguirre, in 1696. 


Archbishop of Armagh, is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on 
this day. He died on the 1st of April in 1129, at Ard-Patrick, (that is, 
Patrick's Mount,) in Munster. See the life of St. Malachy, his successor, 
and Sir James Ware. 



From Theodoret, Philoth, c S, and Hist b. 4, c. 26. See Tillemont, 1 10, and Henschenius, 1. 1, Apr. p 664. 


This saint was descended from an illustrious family in Persia, but in- 
fected with the superstitions of idolatry. He had the happiness of attaining 
to an early knowledge of the truth, which he embraced with his Avhole heart. 
Grieving to see it so little known and loved in his own country, regardless 
of honors and worldly advantages, he renounced all pretensions to them ; 
and, leaving his friends and country, came to Edessa, in Mesopotamia, 
where Christianity flourished. There he diligently informed himself what 
was the best manner of serving God perfectly, and securing his only affair, 
the eternal salvation of his soul. After some deliberation, he shut himself 
up in a little cell without the walls of that city, applying himself entirely to 
the exercises of penance and heavenly contemplation. After some time he 
removed into a cell near a monastery in the neighborhood of Antioch, in 
Syria, where, many resorting to him for spiritual advice, he became a great 
advocate for virtue and truth against vice and the reigning Arian heresy, by 
whomsoever professed. He ate nothing but a little bread after sunset, to 
which, when he was grovt^n extremely old, he added a few herbs. He made 
use of no other bed than a mat laid on the bare ground. His clothing was 
one coarse garment. Anthemius, who was some time after appointed gov- 
ernor of the East, and consul, returning from an embassy in Persia, pressed 
Aphraates to accept of a robe he had brought with him, because the 
product of his own country. Aphraates made answer : " Do you think it 
reasonable to exchange an old faithful servant for a new one, merely because 
he is a countryman?" " By no means," replied Anthemius. " Then," said 
the hermit, " take back your garment ; for I have one that I have worn these 
sixteen years ; and I am not willing to have two at the same time." Hith- 
erto the saint had lived retired in his cell : but seeing the Arian persecution 
under Valens make great havoc in the flock of Christ, he left his retreat to 
come to the assistance of the distressed Catholics of Antioch : where he 


omitted nothing in his power to comfort the faithful, and to assuage the fury 
of their heretical persecutors. Valens had banished the holy bishop Mele- 
tius : but Aphraates joined Flavian and Diodorus, who governed St. Mele- 
tius's flock during his absence. His reputation for sanctity and miracles 
gave the greatest weight to his actions and words. The emperor Valens 
being at Antioch, looking one day out of a window of his palace upon the 
high road which parted it from the river Orontes, and led into the country, 
saw the saint passing by, and asked who that old man was, so meanly clad, 
and making such haste ; and being told it was Aphraates, for whom the 
whole city had the greatest veneration, asked him whither he was going in 
so great a hurry ? The man of God replied, " To pray for the prosperity 
of your reign." For the Catholics, not being allowed a church in the city, 
held their assemblies of devotion in a field where martial exercises were 
performed. The emperor said, " How comes it that you, who are by pro- 
fession a monk, leave your cell thus to ramble abroad ?" Aphraates answer- 
ed, " I lived retired so long as the flock of the heavenly Shepherd enjoyed 
peace ; but now I see it torn to pieces, how can I sit quiet in my cell 1 
Were I a virgin confined in my father's house, and should see it take fire, 
would you advise me to sit still and let the house be burned, in which I 
should also perish ; or leave my room to run and procure help, carry water, 
and exert my utmost endeavors to put out the fire ? Reprove me not, O 
emperor, if I do the like ; rather blame yourself, who have kindled the fire, 
not me for laboring to quench it." The emperor made not the least reply ; 
but one of his eunuchs, then in waiting, reviled the aged saint, and threat- 
ened him with death. But God chastised his insolence : for soon after, 
going to see if the emperor's warm bath was ready, being taken with giddi- 
ness, he fell into the caldron of boiling water, and nobody being there to 
give him assistance, was scalded to death. This example so terrified the 
emperor, that he durst not listen to the suggestions of the Arians, who en- 
deavored to persuade him to banish the saint. He was also much moved 
by the miraculous cures which the holy man wrought by the application of 
oil or water, upon which he had made the sign of the cross. Aphraates would 
never speak to a woman but at a distance, and always in as few words as 
possible. After the miserable death of Valens, when peace was restored to 
the church, our saint returned to his solitude, and there happily departed 
this life to possess God, " with whom," says Theodoret, " I believe he has 
greater power than while he was on earth : on which account I pray also to 
obtain his intercession." The whole church has imitated his example. St. 
Aphraates is honored in the Synaxary of the Greeks, and in the calendars 
of other oriental churches, on the 29th of January ; but in the Roman Mar- 
tyrology his name is placed on the 7th of April. 

Every saint is eminently a man of prayer ; but this is the peculiar perfec- 
tion of holy hermits and monks. This was the means by which so many 
in that state have been raised to such wonderful heights in heroic virtue, so 
as to seem seraphim rather than men on earth. As a vessel at sea is car- 
ried by a favorable wind with incredible ease and swiftness, so a soul which 
is borne upon the wings of a true spirit of prayer, makes sweetly, and with- 
out experiencing either difficulty or pain, quick and extraordinary progress 
in the paths of all interior virtues, particularly those of a close union of her 
affections and powers with God, and those of divine charity, the queen and 
form of all perfect Christian virtue. In this spirit of prayer a simple idiot 
has outstripped the most subtle philosopher, because its foundation is laid 
by profound humility, and perfect simplicity and purity of heart ; and com- 
punction and love require neither penetration nor depth of genius, nor ele- 


April 7.] 



gance of words, to express or raise their most tender affections. St. Bruno 
was an eloquent and learned man ; yet in his most sublime contemplation 
he expressed to God all the burning sentiments of his soul by a single word, 
which he wished never to cease repeating, but to continue actually to pro- 
nounce it for all eternity with fresh ardor and jubilation : " O goodness ! 
goodness ! infinite goodness !" But by this word his heart said more than 
discourses could express in many years or ages. 



He was by birth a Jew, and belonged to the church of Jerusalem, but, 
travelling to Rome, he lived there near twenty years, from the pontificate of 
Anicetus to that of Eleutherius, in 177, when he returned into the East, 
where he died very old, probably at Jerusalem, in the year of Christ 180, 
according to the chronicle of Alexandria. He wrote in the year 133 a His- 
tory of the Church, in five books, from the passion of Christ down to his 
own time, the loss of which work is extremely regretted. In it he gave il- 
lustrious proofs of his faith, and showed the apostolical tradition, and that 
though certain men had disturbed the church by broaching heresies, yet 
down to his time no episcopal see or particular church had fallen into error, 
but had in all places preserved inviolably the truths delivered by Christ, as 
he assures us.' This testimony he gave after having personally visited all 
the principal churches both of the East and West. He was a man replen- 
ished with the spirit of the apostles, and a love of Christian humility, which, 
says Jerom, he expressed by the simplicity of his style. The five books on 
the destruction of Jerusalem, compiled chiefly from the history of Josephus, 
are not the work of this father, as some have imagined ; but of a younger 
Hegesippus, who wrote before the destruction of the Western empire, but 
after Constantino the Great. See Mabillon, Musseum Italicum, t. 1, p. 14, 
and Cave, Hist. Liter, t. 1, p. 265. 


He was born at Espain, a village in the diocese of Tournay, in 1060. 
From his infancy he so earnestly applied himself to prayer, that he spent in 
that holy exercise the greatest part of his time, being always careful in it to 
shun, as much as possible, the eyes of men. The earnestness with which 
he always attended all public devotions in his parish church, and listened to 
the sermons of his curate, is not to be expressed ; much less the deep im- 
pressions which every instruction of piety made upon his tender heart. He 
was discovered to watch a great part of the night upon his knees, and when 
he was no longer able to support himself upright, to pray prostrate on the 
ground. When he could not pray in his chamber, without danger of being 
surprised by others, he retired into the stable or sheepcot for many hours 
together. His commerce with God in his heart was uninterrupted while he 
was abroad in the fields with the cattle. He was no less private in his 
fasts ; and at the time of meals he usually took an apple, or a morsel of 
bread, that he might tell his parents or the servants that he had ate. Hap- 
pening one day to hear a poor man at his father's door sing a hymn on the 

J Apud. Eus. Hist. 1. 4, c. 22, ed. Vales. 


virtues and death of St. Theobald, a hermit, lately dead, he found himself 
vehemently inflamed with a desire of imitating his solitary penitential life ; 
and without delay addressed himself to a priest of the monastery of Crepin 
or Crespin, named John, who lived a recluse in a separate cell, with the 
leave of his abbot. Being admitted by him as a companion, he soon sur- 
passed his master in the exercise and spirit of virtue. Bread they seldom 
tasted ; wild herbs were their ordinary food ; they never saw any fire, nor 
ate any thing that had been dressed by it. The church of Crepin, ever 
since its foundation by St. Landelin, in the seventh century, had been served 
by secular canons : in the eleventh it had passed into the hands of monks 
of the order of St. Benedict : and under the first abbot, Rainer, St. Albert 
took the monastic habit. He still practised his former austerities, slept on 
the ground, and in the night recited the whole psalter privately before matins. 
He was chosen provost and cellerer : but the exterior occupations of these 
offices did not interrupt his tears, or hinder the perpetual attention of his 
soul to God. After twenty-five years spent in this community, with a fer- 
vor which was always uniform and constant, he obtained leave of Lambert, 
the second abbot, to return to an eremitical life, in 1115. He then built 
himself a cell in the midst of a barren wilderness, contenting himself for his 
food with bread and herbs, and after the first three years with herbs alone. 
Many flocking to him for spiritual advice, Burchard, bishop of Cambray, his 
diocesan, promoted him to the priesthood, and erected for him a chapel in 
his cell, giving him power to hear confessions and administer the holy 
eucharist : which was confirmed to him by two popes. Paschal II. and In- 
nocent II. He said every day two masses,* one for the living, and a sec- 
ond for the dead. God crowned his long penance with a happy death about 
the year 1140, the eightieth of his age, on the 7th of April ; on which he is 
honored in the Belgic and Galilean Martyrologies. See his life, by Robert 
the archdeacon, his intimate friend, in Surius, BoUandus, &c. 


He was born at Cologne, and at twelve years of age entered the monas- 
tery of Steinfeldt of regular canons of the Premonstratensian Order in the 
dutchy of Juliers, and diocese of Cologne. His incredible fasts and other 
austerities, and his extraordinary humility, joined with assiduous prayer 
and meditation, raised him to an eminent gift of contemplation, which re- 
plenished his soul with the most profound sentiments of all virtues, and was 
attended with many heavenly favors : but, as it is usual, this grace was 
often accompanied Avith severe interior trials. He was singularly devoted 
to the Blessed Virgin. At the very remembrance of the mystery of the 
incarnation, his soul seemed to melt in tender love ; and he seemed in rap- 
tures whenever he recited the canticle Benedictus at Lauds. Such was 
his desire of contempt, that he one day desired a peasant to strike him on 
the face. The other in surprise asked the reason : " On account," said he, 
" of my being a most filthy and abominable creature, and because I cannot 
meet with so much contempt as I deserve." He died on the 7th of April 
in 1226. He wrote a commentary on the book of Canticles, or Song of 
Solomon, and some other treatises on sublime contemplation, which may be 
ranked with those of other great masters in the contemplative way, as 
Thomas a Kempis, St. Theresa, Thauler, Harphius, Blosius, Lanspergius, 

* Except on Christmas-dny, priests are not allowed to say mass twice the same day, since the prohibi- 
tion of Honorius III. Cap. Te referente. De celebratione. 

April 8.] 



Hilton, &c. B. Herman is honored among the saints in his order, and in 
some churches in the Low Countries. In the abbey church of Steinfeldt 
he is titular saint of an altar, at which the priests who visit that church out 
of devotion to him, say a votive mass in his honor before his relics, with 
proper prayers of the saint used in that abbey from time immemorial. 
Small portions of his relics have been given to several other churches. 
Some are enshrined and exposed to public veneration in the abbey of Pre- 
montre at Antwerp; a portion is kept in the abbey of Pare, at Louvain ; 
another in the parish church of St. Christopher, at Cologne, and another 
at the Chartreuse in the same city. The emperor Ferdinand II. solicited 
his canonization at Rome, and several proofs of miracles and other partic- 
ulars have been given in for that purpose. His name is inserted on the 
7th of April, in the martyrology of the regular canons of St. Austin, ap- 
proved by Benedict XIV., p. 275. See his life by a fellow canon of great 
virtue, in the BoUandists on the 7th of April, t. 1, p. 682 ; also two other 
lives, and several acts, collected in order to pursue the process for his 


He was a native of Munster, and a disciple of St. Brendan, with whose 
blessing he founded the monastery of Cean-e-thich, on the confines of 
Munster and Meath, and afterwards some others. See Colgan, in MSS. 
ad 7 Apr. 



From Eusebius, b. 4, c. 23. St. Jerom, Cat. c. 30. 

St. Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, flourished under the emperor Marcus 
Aurelius, and was one of the most holy and eloquent pastors of the church 
in the second age. Not content assiduously to instruct his own flock with 
the word of life, he comforted and exhorted others at a distance. Eusebius 
mentions several of his instructive letters to other churches, and one of 
thanks to the church of Rome, under the pontificate of St. Soter, for the 
alms received from them according to custom. " From the beginning," 
says he, " it is your custom to bestow your alms in all places, and to furnish 
subsistence to many churches. You send relief to the needy, especially 
to those who work in the mines ; in which you follow the example of your 
fathers. Your blessed bishop Soter is so far from degenerating from your 
ancestors in that respect, that he goes beyond them : not to mention the 
comfort and advice he, with the bowels of a tender father towards his chil- 
dren, affords all that come to him. On this day we celebrated together the 
Lord's day, and read your letter, as we do that which was heretofore written 
to us by Clement." He means that they read these letters of instruction in 

VOL. II. — 7 


50 S. DIONYSIUS, B. C. [ApRIL 8. 

the church after the reading of the holy scriptures, and the celebration of 
the divine mysteries. This primitive father says that SS. Peter and Paul, 
after planting the faith at Corinth, went both into Italy, and there sealed 
their testimony with their blood. He in another place complains that the 
ministers of the devil, that is, the heretics, had adulterated his works, and 
corrupted them by their poison. The monstrous heresies of the first three 
centuries sprang mostly, not from any perverse interpretation of the scrip- 
tures, but from erroneous principles of the heathenish schools of philosophy; 
whence it happened that those heresies generally bordered on some super- 
stitious notions of idolatry. St. Dionysius, to point out the source of the 
heretical errors, showed from what sect of philosophers each heresy took 
its rise. The Greeks honor St. Dionysius as a martyr on the 29th of 
November, because he suffered much for the faith, though he seems to 
have died in peace : the Latins keep his festival on this day, and style him 
only Confessor. Pope Innocent III. sent to the abbey of St. Denys, near 
Paris, the body of a saint of that name brought from Greece. The monks, 
who were persuaded that they were before possessed of the body of the 
Areopagite, take this second to be the body of St. Dionysius of Corinth, 
whose festival they also celebrate. 

We adore the inscrutable judgments of God, and praise the excess of his 
mercy in calling us to his holy faith, when we see many to whom it was 
announced with all the reasonable proofs of conviction, reject its bright 
light, and resist the voice of heaven : also others who had so far despised 
all worldly considerations as to have embraced this divine religion, after- 
wards fall from this grace, and become the authors or abettors of monstrous 
heresies, by which they drew upon themselves the most dreadful curses. 
The source of their errors was originally in the disorder of their hearts, 
by which their understanding was misled. All those who have made ship- 
Avrcck of their faith, fell because they wanted true simplicity of heart. 
Tills virtue has no affinity with worldly simplicity, which is a vice and 
defect, implying a want of prudence and understanding. But Christian 
simplicity is true wisdom and a most sublime virtue. It is a singleness of 
heart, by which a person both in his intention and all his desires and affec- 
tions has no other object but the pure holy will of God. This is grounded 
in self-knowledge, and in eincere humility and ardent charity. The three 
main enemies which destroy it, are, an attachment to creatures without us, 
an inordinate love of ourselves, and dissimulation or double-dealing. Tins 
last, though most infamous and base, is a much more common vice than is 
generally imagined, for there arc very fev/ who are thoroughly sincere in 
their whole conduct towards God, their neighbor, and themselves. Perfect 
sincerity and an invariable uprightness is an essential part, yet only one 
ingredient of Christian simplicity. Nor is it enough to be also disengaged 
from all inordinate attachments to exterior objects : many who are free 
from the hurry and disturbance of things without them, nevertheless are 
strangers to simplicity and purity of heart, being full of themselves, and re- 
ferring their thoughts and actions to themselves, taking an inordinate com- 
placency in Avhat concerns them, and full of anxieties and fear about what 
befalls, or may befall them. Simplicity of the heart, on the contrary, settles 
the soul in perfect interior peace : as a child is secure in the mother's arms, 
so is such a soul at rest in the bosom of her God, resigned to his will, and 
desiring only to accomplish it in all tilings. The inexpressible happiness 
and advantages of this simplicity can only be discovered by experience. 
This virtue disposes the heart to embrace the divine revelation when duly 
manifested, and removes those clouds which the passions raise, and which 

April 8.] 



so darken the understanding, that it is not able to discern the light of 


He was brother to St. Apian, who received his crown at Csesarea, on the 
2d of April, and a native of Lycia, had been a professed philosopher, and 
continued to wear the cloak after his conversion to the faith. He was long 
a scholar of St. Pamphilus at Csesarea. In the persecution of Galerius 
Maximianus he often confessed his faith before magistrates, had sanctified 
several dungeons, and been condemned to the mines in Palestine. Being 
released from thence, he went into Egypt, but there found the persecution 
more violent than in Palestine itself, under Hierocles, the most barbarous 
prefect of Egypt, for Maximinus Daia, Caesar. This governor had also 
employed his pen against the faith, presuming to put the sorceries of Apol- 
lonius of Tyana upon a level with the miracles of Christ, whom Eusebius 
confuted by a book entitled, Against Hierocles. iEdesius being at Alexan- 
dria, and observing how outrageously the judge proceeded against the Chris- 
tians, by tormenting grave men, and delivering women of singular piety, 
and even virgins, to the infamous purchasers of slaves, he boldly presented 
himself before this savage monster, rather than a man, and reproached him 
with his crying inhumanity, especially in exposing holy virgins to lewdness. 
He endured courageously the scourge, and the greatest torments which the 
rage of such a tyrant was capable of inventing'^ and was at length cast into 
the sea, in 306, after the same manner as his brother, who obtained his 
crown a little while before, as the Chaldaic acts expressly inform us, though 
Henschenius is of the contrary opinion. See Eusebius on the martyrs of 
Palestine, ch. 5, and the martyr's Chaldaic acts in Assemani, t. 2, p. 195. 


He was the eighth bishop of Tours from St. Gatian, and governed that see 
above thirty years, from 461 to 491, when he deceased on the 8th of April. 
During all which time he labored by zealous sermons, many synods, and 
wholesome regulations, to lead souls to virtue. St. Gregory of Tours men- 
tions his prudent ordinances, prescribing the manner of celebrating vigils 
before great festivals in the different churches in the city. All Fridays and 
Wednesdays he commanded to be observed fasts of precept, except during 
Easter time, from Christmas to St. Hilary's day, that is, the 14th day of 
January, and from St. John Baptist's day to the end of August. He added 
a third fast day every week, probably Monday, from St, Martin's to Christ- 
mas, which proves the antiquity of Advent. These regulations were all re- 
ligiously observed one hundred and twenty years after, when St. Gregory 
of Tours wrote his history. St. Perpetuus had a great veneration for the 
saints, and respect for their relics ; adorned their shrines, and enriched their 
churches. 'As there was a continual succession of miracles at the tomb of 
St. Martin, Perpetuus finding the church built by St. Bricius too small for 
the concourse of people that resorted thither, directed its enlargement, caus- 
ing it to be built one hundred and fifty-five feet in length, sixty broad, and 
forty-five in height. When the building was finished, the good bishop sol- 
emnized the dedication of this new church, and performed the translation 
of the body of St. Martin, on the 4th of July, in 473. Our saint was of a 
senatorian family, and possessed very large estates in several provinces ; but 
consecrated the revenues to the service of the church, and the relief of the 

52 S. WALTER, A. [ApRIL 8. 

necessitous. He made and signed his last will, which is still extant, on the 
1st of March, 475, fifteen years before his death. By it he remits all debts 
that were owing to him ; and having bequeathed to his church his library 
and several farms, and settled a fund for the maintenance of lamps, and the 
purchase of sacred vessels, as occasion might require, he declares the poor 
his heirs. It begins thus: "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. I, Per- 
petuus, a sinner, priest of the church of Tours, would not depart without 
a last will and testament, lest the poor should be neglected. . . . You, my 
bowels, my most beloved brethren, my crown, my joy, my lords, my chil- 
dren, poor of Christ, needy, beggars, sick, widows, orphans ; you I de- 
clare, name, and make my heirs. Excepting what is above disposed of, 
whatever I am possessed of in goods, in fields, in pasturage, in meadows, in 
groves, in vineyards, in dwellings, in gardens, in waters, in mills, or in gold, 
silver, and garments, and other things, I appoint you my heirs. It is my 
will that as soon as possible, after my departure, they be sold, and the mo- 
ney divided into three parts ; of which two shall be distributed among poor 
men, at the discretion of the priest Agrarius and count Agilo : and the third 
among widows and poor women, at the discretion of the virgin Dadolena," 
&c. He adds most pathetic exhortations to concord and piety; and be- 
queaths to his sister, Fidia Julia Perpetua, a httle gold cross, with relics ; 
he leaves legacies to several other friends and priests, to one a silver case 
of relics of saints, to others gold or silver crosses or chalices, begging of 
each a remembrance of him in their prayers. His ancient epitaph equals 
him to the great St. Martin : St. Apollinaris Sidonius calls him the true 
copy of the virtues of that wonderful saint. St. Perpetuus died either on 
the 30th of December, in 490, or on the 8th of April, 491 . In the martyrolo- 
gies of Florus, and some others, his festival is placed on the first of these 
days : but in that of Usuard, and in the Roman, on the second. See his tes- 
tament published by D'Achery, Spicileg. t. 5, p. 105 ; also St. Gregory of 
Tours, Hist. b. 10, ch. 31, and De Mirac. S. Martini, b. 1, c. 6 ; Tillemont, 
t. 16, p. 393 ; Dom. Rivet, t. 2, p. 619. 



He was a native of Picardy, and took the habit of St. Bennet at Rebais 
in the diocese of Meaux. The counts of Amiens and Pontoise having lately 
founded the rich abbey of St. German, now called St. Martin's, adjoining to 
the walls of Pontoise, king Philip I., after a diligent search for a person 
equal to so imjjortant a charge, obliged Walter to take upon him the govern- 
ment of that house, and he was appointed the first abbot in 1060. He was 
always highly honored by the king, and by other great personages ; but this 
was what his humility could not bear. To escape from the dangers of vain- 
glory, he often fled secretly from his monastery, but was always found and 
brought back again, and, to prevent his escaping, the pope sent him a strict 
order not to leave his abbey. There he lived in a retired small cell in great 
austerity, and in assiduous prayer and contemplation, never stirring out but 
to duties of charity or regularity, or to perform some of the meanest ofiices 
of the house. His zeal, in opposing the practice of simony, drew on him 
grievous persecutions : all which he bore not only with patience, but even 
with joy. His death happened on the 8th of April, in 1099. The bishops of 
Rouen, Paris, and Senlis, after a dihgent scrutiny, declared several mira- 
cles wrought at his tomb authentic ; and performed the translation of his rel- 


April 8.] 



ics on the 4th. of May. The abbot Walter Montague made a second trans- 
lation in 1655, and richly decorated his chapel. St. Walter, from the first 
day of his conversion to his death, made it a rule every day to add some new- 
practice of penance to his former austerities ; thus to remind himself of the 
obligation of continually advancing in spirit tovv^ards God. His life, written 
by a disciple, may be read in the BoUandists, w^iih the remarks of Hensche- 
nius, t. 1, Apr. p. 753. 



He was born at Castro di Gualtieri, in the diocese of Parma, and of a no- 
ble Italian family. After having laid a solid foundation of learning and piety, 
and acquired a great reputation by his skill in the canon and civil laws, he 
put on the habit of a canon regular in the monastery of Mortura in the Mila- 
nese, and, though very young, was in a short time after his profession chosen 
prior, and, three years after, bishop of Bobio. While his humility found ex- 
cuses to decline this dignity, the church of Vercelli falling also vacant, that 
city had the happiness to carry him off, and see him by compulsion placed 
in its episcopal chair. For twenty years he never ceased to procure the 
advantage of the flock committed to his charge, and by humility and sanctity 
raised to the highest degree the splendor of the see which he adorned. He 
WdS chosen by pope Clement III., and the emperor Frederick I., surnamed 
Barbarossa, umpire of their differences. Henry VI., successor to Frederick, 
created him prince of the empire, and granted many favors to his church. 
He w^as employed by the pope in several commissions of the highest impor- 
tance. In 1204 died Monachus, the eleventh Latin patriarch of Jerusalem : 
and the Christians in Palestine, who in their desolate condition stood ex- 
tremely in need of a person whose consummate prudence, patience, and 
zeal, might be to them both a comfort and a support, moved by the great 
reputation of Albert, earnestly besought him to fill the vacant chair. Pope 
Innocent III. expressed great joy at their choice, being full of compassion for 
their situation and dangers, and called Albert to Rome, that he might receive 
the confirmation of his election, and the pall. The holy man obeyed the 
more readily, because this dignity at that time exposed him only to persecu- 
tions and afilictions, not without a prospect of martyrdom. He embarked in 
a Genoese vessel in 1206, and landed at Aeon, in which city he resided, 
Jerusalem itself being in the hands of the Saracens. To his labors and per- 
secutions he added the practice of assiduous mortification, and made prayer 
the chief employment of all his retired hours. His sanctity procured him the 
respect and veneration of the infidels themselves. Besides many other 
pious establishments and holy works of which he was the author, he be- 
came the legislator of the Carmelites, or White Friars. On mount Car- 
mel lived certain anchorets, who regarded the prophet Elias as their found- 
er and model, because he made that mountain the place of his retreat,' as 
did also Eliseus.^ One Berlheld formed these anchorets into a community: 
and Brocard, superior of these hermits in 1205, or rather, as Papebroke 
proves, in 1209, addressed himself to the patriarch Albert, beseeching him 
to prescribe them a rule.* The holy man drew up a constitution of this or- 

1 3 Kings xviii. 19, 20, 42. 2 1 Kings iv. 25. 

* Some writers have endeavored to prove that from Eli;is, and his successors, the sons of the prophets, 
an uninterrupted succession of hermits h;ui inhabited mount Carmel down to the time of Christ and liis 
apostles ; and that, liaving embraced early the Christian faith, they continued their succession to the 




[April 9. 

der, in which the friars are enjoined to abide in their cells day and night in 
assiduous prayer, as it becomes hermits, unless they are otherwise lawfully 
occupied: to fast from the feast of the Exaltation of the Gross till Easter, ex- 
cept on Sundays : perpetual abstinence from flesh : to employ themselves in 
manual labor: keep silence from Vespers till Tierce the next day, &c. But 
several additions were made to this rule, and mitigations introduced by com- 
missioners appointed by Innocent IV., in 1246. The White Friars did not 
wear a scapular before St. Simon Stock, in 1285, and began to use a man- 
tle and hood in 1288. This order being in its origin eremitical, hence 
among the barefooted Carmelites every province has a desert or solitude, 
usually for three or four hermits, who lead there very austere lives, but after 
one year return again to their convent, or go to some other desert, with the 
leave of superiors. 

Albert was called into the West by pope Innocent III., that he might be 
present at the general council of Lateran which met in 1215 : but before he 
left Palestine, he was assassinated while he assisted at a procession of the 
holy cross, on the feast of its Exaltation, September 14th, 1214, at Aeon, by 
an impious wretch whom he had reproved and threatened for his crimes. 
He is honored among the saints by his order on this 8th day of April.- See 
the memoirs collected by Papebroke, t. 1, p. 769. Also Exhibitio Errorum 
quos Dan. Papebrochius suis in notis ad Acta Sanctorum commisit, per Se- 
bast. a S. Paulo. Coloniae Agrippince, 1693, 4to. Item, Examen Juridico- 
Theoloeicum Prccambul. Sebastiani a S. Paulo ad Exhibilionem Errorum 
Dan. Papebrochio ab illo Imputatorum, Auctore Nic. Rayaeo, cum Respon- 
sionibus Dan. Papebrochii, Antwerpice, 1698, four vols, in 4to. Helyot, 
Hist, des Ordres Relig. t. 1, and Stevens, Monast. Anglic, t. 1, p. 156. 



From her life, commended in the seventh general council, and by St. Sophonius, but written one hundred 
and tifty years before him, by a grave author of the same age in which the saint lived. See Papebrulje, 
ad diem 2. Apr. t. 1, p. 67, and Jos. Assemani Comni. in Calend. ad 1. Apr. t. 6, p. 218. 


In the reign of Theodosius the Younger, there lived in Palestine a holy 
monk and priest named Zosimus, famed for the reputation of his sanctity, 
and resorted to as an oracle for the direction of souls in the most perfect 

twelfth or thirteenth centurj-, when having obtained ihis rule they introduced their order into Europe. 
The lenrued Papebroke, a continuiitor of the Acta Si'.nctorura couuueiiced by Bollandu-», treated his claim 
to so high an antiquity as chimerical, and dated the origin of the hermits of mount Carmel only in the 
twelfth century. The contest grew so warm, that the affiir was l;iid betore popes Innocent X. and XII. But 
neither of them chose to declare whether the monuments, produced in favor of the succession aforesaid, 
were decisive or not. And the latter, by a brief dated 29ih of November, 1698, enjoined silence on that 
subject for the time to come. 

Alan, the fifth general of the Carmelite friars, finding Palestine a ti-oul)leson>e residence under the Sara- 
cens, sought to obtain for his order some foreign settlements, and soon procured convents to be founded in 
Cyprus and Sicily. Soon after the year 1200, certain Englishmen, who had embraced that order, were 
brought over from Syria by Sir John de Vasey. lord of Alnwick in Northumberland, a great baron in those 
days, when he returned from the holy war. He founded their first house at Alnwick, and they soon pro- 
cured convents in Ailsford, London, Oxford, and other places. This order has at present tliirty-eight prov- 
inces, besides the congregation of Mantua, which has fifty-four houses under a vicar-general, and the 
congregations of the barefooted Carmelites in Spain and Italy, which have their own generals : on which 
see the life of St. Theresa. 

April 9.] 



rules of a religious life. He had served God from his youth with great 
fervor, ia the same house, for the space of three-and-fifty years, when he 
was tempted to think that he had attained to a state of perfection, and that 
no one could teach him any thing more in regard to a monastic life. God, 
to discover the delusion and danger of this suggestion of the proud spirit, 
and to convince him that we may always advance in perfection, directed 
him by revelation to quit his monastery for one near the Jordan, where he 
might learn lessons of virtue he yet was unacquainted with. Being admit- 
ted among them, it was not long before he was undeceived, and convinced, 
from what he saw practised there, how much he had been mistaken in the 
judgment he had formed of himself and his advancement in virtue. The 
members of this community had no more communication with the rest of 
mankind than if they had belonged to another world. The whole employ- 
ment of their lives was manual labor, which they accompanied with prayer, 
and the singing of psalms, (in which heavenly exercise they spent the whole 
night, relieving each other by turns,) and their chief subsistence was on 
bread and water. It was their yearly custom, after having assisted at the 
divine mysteries, and received the blessed Eucharist on the first Simday in 
Lent, to cross the river, and disperse themselves over the vast deserts which 
lie towards Arabia, to pass in perfect solitude the interval between that and 
Palm-Sunday ; against which time they all returned again to the monastery 
to join in celebrating the passion and resurrection of our Lord. Some sub- 
sisted during this time on a small parcel of provision they took with them, 
while others lived on the herbs which grew wild ; but when they came 
back, they never communicated to each other what they did during that 

About the year 439, the holy man Zosimus passed over the Jordan with 
the rest at the usual time, endeavoring to penetrate as far as he could into 
the wilderness, in hopes of meeting with some hermit of still greater per- 
fection than he had hitherto seen or conversed with, praying v/ilh great fer- 
vor as he travelled. Having advanced thus for twenty days, as he one day 
stopped at noon to rest himself and recite a certain number of psalms, ac- 
cording to custom, he saw as it were the figure of a human body. He was 
at first seized with fright and astonishment ; and imagining it might be an 
illusion of the enemy, he armed himself with the sign of the cross and con- 
tinued in prayer. Having finished his devotions, he plainly perceived, on 
turning his eyes that way, that it was somebody that appeared naked, ex- 
tremely sunburnt, and with short white hair, who walked very quick, and 
fled from him. Zosimus, judging it was some holy anchoret, ran that way 
with all his speed to overtake him. He drew nearer by degrees, and when 
he was within hearing, he cried out to the person to stop and bless him ; 
who answered : " Abbot Zosimus, I am a woman ; throw me your mantle to 
cover ine, that you may come near me." He, surprised to hear her call 
him by his name, which he was convinced she covdd have known only by 
revelation, readily complied with her request. Having covered herself with 
his garment she approached him, and they entered into conversation after 
mutual prayer : and on the holy man's conjuring her by Jesus Christ to tell 
him who she was, and how long, and in what manner she had lived in that 
desert, she said : " I ought to die with confusion and shame in telling you 
what I am ; so horrible is the very mention of it, that you will fly from me 
as from a serpent : your ears will not be able to bear the recital of the 
crimes of which I have been guilty. I will however relate to you my igno- 
miny, begging of you to pray for me, that God may show me mercy in the 
day of his terrible judgment. 

" My country is Egypt. When my father and mother were still living, at 



twelve years of age I went without their consent to Alexandria : I cannot 
think, without trembling, on the first steps by which I fell into sin, nor my 
disorders which followed." She then described how she lived a public 
prostitute seventeen years, not for interest, but to gratify an unbridled lust : 
she added : " I continued my wicked course till the twenty-ninth year of my 
age, when, perceiving several persons making towards the sea, I inquired 
whither they were going, and was told they were about to embark for the 
holy land, to celebrate at Jerusalem the feast of the Exaltation of the glori- 
ous Cross of our Saviour. I embarked with them, looking only for fresh 
opportunities to continue my debauches, which I repeated both during the 
voyage and after my arrival at Jerusalem. On the day appointed for the 
festival, all going to church, I mixed with the crowd to get into the church 
where the holy cross was shown and exposed to the veneration of the faith- 
ful ; but found myself withheld from entering the place by some secret but 
invisible force. This happening to me three or four times, I retired into a 
corner of the court, and began to consider with myself what this might pro- 
ceed from ; and seriously reflecting that my criminal life might be the cause, 
I melted into tears. Beating therefore my sinful breast, with sighs and 
groans, I perceived above me a picture of the mother of God. Fixing my 
eyes upon it, I addressed myself to that holy virgin, begging of her, by her 
incomparable purity, to succor me, defiled with such a load of abominations, 
and to render my repentance the more acceptable to God. I besought her 
I might be suflered to enter the church doors to behold the sacred wood of 
my redemption ; promising from that moment to consecrate myself to God 
by a life of penance, taking her for my surety in this change of my heart. 
After this ardent prayer, I perceived in my soul a secret consolation under 
my grief; and attempting again to enter the church, I went up with ease 
into the very middle of it, and had the comfort to venerate the precious wood 
of the glorious cross which brings life to man. Considering therefore the 
incomprehensible mercy of God, and his readiness to receive sinners to re- 
pentance, I cast myself on the ground, and after having kissed the pave- 
ment with tears, I arose and went to the picture of the mother of God, whom 
I had made the witness and surety of my engagements and resolutions. 
Falling there on my knees before her image, I addressed my prayers to her, 
begging her intercession, and that she would be my guide. After my prayer, 
I seemed to hear this voice : ' If thou goest beyond the Jordan, thou shall 
there find rest and comfort.' Then weeping, and looking on the image, I 
begged of the holy queen of the world that she would never abandon me. 
After these words, I went out in haste, bought three loaves, and asking the 
baker which was the gate of the city which led to the Jordan, I immediately 
took that road, and walked all the rest of the day, and at night arrived at the 
church of St. John Baptist, on the banks of the river. There I paid my 
devotions to God, and received the precious body of our Saviour Jesus 
Christ. Having eat the half of one of my loaves, I slept all night on the 
ground. Next morning, recommending myself to the holy Virgin, I passed 
the Jordan, and from that time I have carefully shunned the meeting of any 
human creature." 

Zosimus asked how long she had lived in that desert. " It is," said she, 
" as near as I can judge, forty-seven years." " And what have you sub- 
sisted upon all that time ?" replied Zosimus. " The loaves I took with me," 
answered she,. " lasted me some time : since that I have had no other food 
but what this wild and uncultivated solitude afforded me. My clothes being 
worn out, I sufi'ered severely from the heat and the cold, with which I was 
often so afflicted that I was liot able to stand." " And have you passed so 
many years," said the holy man, " without suffering much in your soul ?" 


April 9.] s. mary of egypt. 57 

She answered : " Your question makes me tremble, by tbe very remem- 
brance of my past dangers and conflicts, through the perverseness of my 
heart. Seventeen years I passed in most violent temptations, and almost 
perpetual conflicts with my inordinate desires. I was tempted to regret the 
flesh and fish of Egypt, and the wines which I drank in the world to ex- 
cess ; whereas here I often could not come at a drop of water to quench 
my thirst. Other desires made assaults on my mind, but, weeping and 
striking my breast on those occasions, I called to mind the vows I had 
made under the protection of the Blessed Virgin, and begged her to obtain 
my deliverance from the aflliction and danger of such thoughts. After long 
weeping and bruising my body with blows, I found myself suddenly en- 
lightened, and my mind restored to a perfect calm. Often the tyranny of 
my old passions seemed ready to drag me out of my desert : at those times 
I threw myself on the ground and watered it with my tears, raising my 
heart continually to the Blessed Virgin till she procured me comfort : and 
she has never failed to show herself my faithful protectress." Zosimus 
taking notice that in her discourse with him she from time to time made use 
of scripture phrases, asked her if she had ever applied herself to the study 
of the sacred books. Her answer was that she could not even read, neither 
had she conversed nor seen any human creature since she came into the 
desert till that day, that could teach her to read the holy scripture or read it 
to her, but " it is God," said she, " that teacheth man knowledge.' Thus 
have I given you a full account of myself : keep what I have told you as an 
inviolable secret during my life, and allow me, the most miserable of sinners, a 
share in your prayers." She concluded with desiring him not to pass over 
the Jordan next Lent, according to the custom of his monastery, but to bring 
with him on Maunday-Thursday the body and blood of our Lord, and wait 
for her on the banks of the river on the side which is inhabited. Having 
spoken thus, and once more entreated him to pray for her, she left him. 
Zosimus hereupon fell on his knees, thanked God for what he had seen and 
heard, kissed the ground whereon she had stood, and returned by the usual 
time to his monastery. 

The year following, on the first Sunday in Lent, he was detained at home 
on account of sickness, as indeed she had foretold him. On Maunday- 
Thursday, taking the sacred body and blood of our Lord in a small chalice, 
and also a little basket of figs, dates, and lentils, he went to the banks of 
the Jordan. At night she appeared on the other side, and making the sign 
of the cross over the river, she went forward, walking upon the surface of 
the water, as if it had been dry land, till she reached the opposite shore. 
Being now together, she craved his blessing, and desired him to recite the 
Creed and the Lord's prayer. After which she- received from his hands the 
holy sacrament. Then lifting up her hands to heaven, she said aloud with 
tears : Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, Lord, according to thy word, in 
peace ; because my eyes have seen my Saviour. She begged Zosimus to par- 
don the trouble she had given him, and desired him to return the following 
Lent, to the place where he first saw her. He begged of her on his side to 
accept the sustenance he had brought her. But she took only a few of the 
lentils ; and conjuring him never to forget her miseries, left him, and then 
went over the river as she came. Zosimus returned home, and at the very 
time fixed by the saint, set out in quest of her, with the view of being still 
further edified by her holy conversation, and of learning also her name, 
which he had forgot to ask. But on his arrival at the place where he had 
first seen her, he found her corpse stretched out on the ground, with an in- 

1 Psalm xxxix. 30. 

VOL. II. — 8 



[April 9. 

scription declaring her name, Mary, and the time of her death. Zosimus, 
being miraculously assisted by a lion, dug a grave, and buried her. And 
having recommended both himself and the whole church to the saint's inter- 
cession, he returned to his monastery, where he recounted all that he had 
seen and heard of this holy penitent, and continued there to serve God till 
his happy death, which happened in the hundredth year of his age : and it 
is from a relation of the monks of that community, that an author of the 
same century wrote her life as above related : which history is mentioned 
soon after by many authors, both of the Eastern and Western church. Pape- 
broke places her conversion in 383, and her death in 421. 

In the example of this holy woman, we admire the wonderful goodness 
and mercy of God, who raised her from the sink of the most criminal habits 
and the most abandoned state to the most sublime and heroic virtue. While 
we consider her severe penance, let us blush at the manner in which we 
pretend to do penance. Let her example rouse our sloth. The kingdom 
of heaven is only for those who do violence to themselves. Let us tremble 
with her at the remembrance of our baseness and sins, as often as we enter 
the sanctuary of the Lord, or venerate his holy cross, the instrument of our 
redemption. We insult him when we pretend exteriorly to pay him our 
homages, and at the same time dishonor him by our sloth and sinful life. 
God, by the miraculous visible repulse of this sinner, shows us what he 
does invisibly with regard to all obstinate and wilful sinners. We join the 
crowd of adorers at the foot of his altar ; but he abhors our treacherous 
kisses like those of Judas. We honor his cross with our lips ; but he sees 
our heart, and condemns its irregularities and its opposition to his holy 
spirit of perfect humility, meekness, self-denial, and charity. Shall we then 
so much fear to provoke his indignation by our unworthiness, as to keep at 
a distance from his holy places or mysteries ? By no means. This would 
be irrecoverably to perish by cutting off the most essential means of salva- 
tion. Invited by the infinite goodness and mercy of God, and pressed by 
our own necessities and dangers, the more grievous these are, with so much 
greater earnestness and assiduity must we sue for pardon and grace, pro- 
vided we do this in the most profound sentiments of compunction, fear, and 
confidence. It will be expedient often to pray with the publican at a dis- 
tance from the altar, in a feeling sentiment that we ought to be treated as 
persons excommunicate before God and men. Sometimes we may in pub- 
lic prayers pronounce the words with a lower A'oice, as unworthy to unite 
our praises with others, as base sinners, whose homages ought rather to be 
ofiensive to God, who hates the sight of a heart filled with iniquity and self- 
love. We must at least never present ourselves before God without purify- 
ing our hearts by compunction, and, trembling, to say to ourselves, that God 
ought to drive us out of his holy presence Avith a voice of thunder : Let the 
toicked man be taken away, and let him not see the glory of God. But in these 
dispositions of fear and humility, we must not fail assiduously to pour forth 
our supplications, and sound the divine praises with our whole hearts. 


Mentioned by Bede,^ and famous in ancient calendars. We have a ser- 
mon preached by St. Austin on their festivals.' They suffered in Africa, 
and probably derived their name from Massyla, or the adjacent country, on 
the sea-coast. 

1 In 1 Cor. ii. 

2 Serm. 283, t. 5, p. 1138. 

April 9.] 




Julian the Apostate, in his march to Antioch, arriving at Csesarea, the 
capital of Cappadocia, was exceedingly irritated to find the greatest part of 
the city Christians, and that they had lately demolished a temple dedicated 
to Fortune, being the last pagan temple remaining there : wherefore he struck 
it out of the list of cities, and ordered that it should resume its ancient name 
of Mazaca, instead of that of Ceesarea, the name with which Tiberius had 
honored it. He deprived the churches in the city and its territory of all 
that they possessed in moveables or other goods, making use of torments to 
oblige them to a discovery of their wealth. He caused all the clergy to be 
enlisted among the train-bands, under the governor of the province, which 
was the most contemptible, and frequently the most burdensome service, and 
on the lay Christians he imposed a heavy tax. Many of them he put to 
death, the principal of which number was St. Eupsychius, a person of noble 
extraction, lately married. The tyrant left an order that the Christians 
should be compelled to rebuild the temples ; but, instead of that, they erected 
a church to the true God, under the title of St. Eupsychius : in which, on 
the 8th of April, eight years after, St. Basil celebrated the feast of this mar- 
tyr, to which he invited all the bishops of Pontus, in a letter yet extant.' 



The Persians, in an incursion into the Christian territories, took by siege 
the castle Bethzarbe, on the Tigris, massacred the garrison, and led away 
nine thousand souls into captivity. Among these were Heliodorus, a bishop, 
Dausas and Mariabus, ancient priests, besides many other priests, monks, and 
nuns. The good bishop died on the road, but first ordained Dausas bishop 
in his place. The canons order a bishop not to be ordained but by three 
bishops : but this admits a dispensation in cases of necessity. Thus Theo- 
doret says,' that St. Eusebius of Samosata went about privately ordaining 
Catholic pastors to fill vacant sees : and St. Gregory allowed St. Austin to 
do the same in England.* The captives assembled daily with Dausas, who 
celebrated the divine mysteries. When they were arrived on the confines 
of Assyria, it was left to the option of three hundred of them either to adore 
the sun or to die. Twenty-five complied with the injunction, and were re- 
warded with portions of land for their apostacy. The other two hundred 
and seventy-five remained constant with the bishop Dausas, and were all 
massacred together. See the Greek Menaea, Sozomen/ and their original 
Chaldaic acts, published by Assemani, t. 1, p. 134. 



She was daughter to the princess St. Bertille, elder sister to St. Aldegon- 
des, and wife to Madelgaire, count of Hainault, and one of the principal 

' Ep. 291. 1 B. 5. ch. 4. 2 B. 2, ch. 13. 

* Though the canon law most severely requires three bishops to the consecration of a bishop, yet an- 
cient and modern examples so clearly demonstrate that one is sufficient with regard to the validity of the 
ordination, at least when done with a dispensation, that it is a matter of surprise how Tournely should 
deny it. 

60 s. DOTTo, A. [April 9. 

lords of king Dagobert's court. After bearing him two sons and two daugh- 
ters, she induced him to embrace the monastic state at Haumont, near Mau- 
beuge, taking the name of Vincent. He is honored in Flanders among the 
saints on the 20th of September, and called St. Vincent of Soignies. She 
remained two years longer in the world, devoting herself entirely to exer- 
cises of piety, under the direction of the holy abbot Saint Guislain. Being 
by that time disengaged from the encumbrances of the world, she received 
the religious veil at the hands of St. Aubert, bishop of Cambray, in 656, and 
lived in a little cell, adjoining to which was a chapel in a solitary place 
called Castriloc, or Castleplace, now Mons. Many other ladies resorting 
to her, she formed a religious community, which is at present a rich royal 
chapter of canonesses. From her reputation and from this community arose 
the city of Mons, now the capital of Hainault. While her sister Aldegon- 
des governed her great monastery at Maubeuge, Vautrude sanctified herself 
in her little cell by holy poverty, meekness, patience, continual fasting, and 
prayer. She suffered much from the slanders of men, and from severe inte- 
rior trials and temptations : but God, after some years, recompensed her 
fidelity with a holy peace, and great spiritual consolations. On the 9th of 
April, 686, she went to receive the crown promised by God to those who 
serve him. Her relics are esteemed the most precious treasure of the great 
church which bears her name. She is titular patroness of Mons, and all 
Hainault. By the life of St. Vautrude, we should learn to despise the un- 
just censures of the world. It persecutes by its calumnies those by whose 
lives its false maxims are condemned: but it can only hurt a counterfeit vir- 
tue, as the fire consumes only the dross, but renders true gold brighter and 
more pure. Solid virtue is not only tried by humiliations, but gains the 
greatest advantage and improvement by making a good use of them. See 
her ancient life in Mabill. Ssec. 2. Bened. also Mirseus. 


He was in strict friendship with St. Stephen of Grandmont, died the 9th 
of April, 1130, at the age of eighty, and was canonized by Celestine HI. in 
1194. See Labbe, Bibl. MS. t, 2 ; Henschenius, &c. 


One of the isles of Orkney, in which he founded and governed a great 
monastery in the sixth century, bears his name to this day. In the same 
island stood other monasteries and churches dedicated to God under the 
patronage of St. Brendan. Though all the isles of Orkney are recommended 
for the healthfulness of the air, and longevity of the inhabitants, this of St. 
Dotto is remarkable above the rest on these accounts. Our saint lived near 
one hundred years, and with great joy repeated in his last moments : I have 
rejoiced in those things which have been told me : we will go into the house of 
the Lord. Ps. cxxi. See Donald Monroe, De Insulis, and bishop Lesley's 
nephew, De Sanctis Scotise. 

April 10.] 





Frojn his orsginal Syiiac acts, written by St. Mariithas, published by Assemani, t. 1, p. 165. The Greek 
from Metaphrastes were given us by Henschenius, p. 828, and Euiuart, p. 680. 

A. D. 376. 

Bademus was a rich and noble citizen of Bethlapeta, in Persia, who, de- 
siring to devote himself to the service of God, out of his estates founded a 
monastery near that city, which he governed with great sanctity. The pu- 
rity of his soul had never been sullied by any crime, and the sweet odor of 
his sanctity diffused a love of virtue in the hearts of those that approached 
him. He watched whole nights in prayer, and passed sometimes several 
days together without eating : bread and water were his usual fare. He 
conducted his religious in the paths of perfection with sweetness, prudence, 
and charity. In this amiable retreat he enjoyed a calmness and happiness 
which the great men of the world would view with envy, did they compare 
with it the unquiet scenes of vice and vanity in which they live. But, to 
crown his virtue, God permitted him, with seven of his monks, to be appre- 
hended by the pursuivants of king Sapor, in the thirty-sixth year of his per- 
secution. He lay four months in a dungeon, loaded with chains ; during 
which lingering martyrdom he was every day called out to receive a certain 
number of stripes. But he triumphed over his torments by the patience and 
joy with which he suffered them for Christ. At the same time, a Christian 
lord of the Persian court, named Nersan, prince of Aria, was cast into prison, 
because he refused to adore the sun. At first he showed some resolution; 
but at the sight of tortures his constancy failed him, and he promised to con- 
form. The king, to try if his change was sincere, ordered Bademus to be 
brought to Lapeta, with his chains struck off, and to be introduced into the 
prison of Nersan, which was a chamber in the royal palace. Then his 
majesty sent word to Nersan, by two lords, that if with his own hand he 
would dispatch Bademus, he should be restored to his liberty and former 
dignities. The wretch accepted the condition ; a sword was put into his 
hand, and he advanced to plunge it into the breast of the abbot. But being 
seized with a sudden terror, he stopped short, and remained some time with- 
out being able to lift up his arm to strike. The servant of Christ stood un- 
daunted, and, with his eyes fixed upon him, said : " Unhappy Nersan, to 
what a pitch of impiety do you carry your apostacy. With joy I run to meet 
death ; but could wish to fall by some other hand than yours : why must 
you be my executioner ?" Nersan had neither courage to repent, nor heart 
to accomplish his crime. He strove, however, to harden himself, and con- 
tinued with a trembling hand to aim at the sides of the martyr. Fear, 
shame, remorse, and respect for the martyr, whose virtue he wanted courage 
to imitate, made his strokes forceless and unsteady ; and so great was the 
number of the martyr's wounds, that they stood in admiration at his invinci- 
ble patience. At the same time they detested the cruelty, and despised the 
base cowardice of the murderer, who at last, aiming at his neck, after four 
strokes severed his head from the trunk. Neither did he escape the divine 
vengeance : for a short time after, falling into public disgrace, he perished 

62 B. MECHTILDES, V, A. [ApRIL 10. 

by the sword, after tortures, and under the maledictions of the people. Such 
is the treachery of the world towards those who have sacrificed their all in 
courting it. Though again and again deceived by it, they still listen to its 
false promises, and continue to serve this hard master, till their fall becomes 
irretrievable. The body of St. Bademus was reproachfully cast out of the 
city by the infidels : but was secretly carried away and interred by the 
Christians. His disciples were released from their chains four years after- 
wards, upon the death of king Sapor. St. Bademus suffered on the 10th of 
the moon of April, in the year 376, of king Sapor the sixty-seventh. 

Monks were called Mourners by the Syrians and Persians, because by 
their state they devoted themselves in a particular manner to the most per- 
fect exercises of compunction and penance, which indeed are an indispen- 
sable duty of every Christian. The name of angels was often given them 
over all the East, during several ages,' because by making heavenly contem- 
plation and the singing of the divine praises their great and glorious em- 
ployment, if they duly acquit themselves of it, they may justly be called the 
seraphim of the earth. The soul which loves God, is made a heaven which 
he inhabits, and in v/hich she converses with him in the midst of her own 
substance. Though he is infinite, and the highest heavenly spirits tremble 
before him, and how poor and base soever we are, he invites us to converse 
with him, and declares that it is his delight to be with us. Shall not we 
look upon it as our greatest happiness and comfort to be with Him, and to 
enjoy the unspeakable sweetness of his presence. Oh ! what ravishing de- 
lights does a soul taste which is accustomed, by a familiar habit, to converse 
in the heaven of her own interior with the three persons of the adorable 
Trinity ! Dissipated worldlings wonder how holy solitaries can pass their 
whole time buried in the most profound solitude and silence of creatures. 
But those who have had any experience of this happiness, are surprised 
with far greater reason how it is possible that any souls which are created 
to converse eternally with God, should here live in consta,nt dissipation, 
seldom entertaining a devout thought of Him, whose charms and sweet con- 
versation eternally ravishes all the blessed. 


The two holy sisters, SS. Gertrude and Mechtildes, were countesses of 
Hackuborn, cousins to the emperor Frederick II., and born at Islebe, in Upper 
Saxony. From seven years of age Mechtildes had her education in the Bene- 
dictin monastery of Redaresdorff, or Rodersdorff", in the bishopric of Halber- 
stade, secularized and yielded to the elector of Brandenbourg at the peace of 
Westphalia in 1648. She lived always a stranger to the vices and vanities of 
the world, and from her infancy practised obedience with such cheerfulness, 
that she was always ready to perform every command of her superior. 
Though often sick, she denied herself the use of flesh-meat and wine, and 
studied to retrench every superfluity. She endeavored to conceal her vir- 
tues as industriously as others labor to hide their most heinous sins. She 
made her religious vows in the same house, and while yet young was re- 
moved to Diessen near the lake Ambre in Bavaria, where she was appointed 
superior of the monastery of that name, which seems to have been at that 
time of the order of St. Benedict, though it has long been a house of regular 
canonesses of St. Austin's order. It was founded in 1132 by Bertkold, 

1 See Du Cange's Glossary of the Greek Language for the middle ages. 

April 10.] b. mechtildes, v. a. 63 

count of Andechs, and afterwards endowed with great revenues by St. Otho, 
bishop of Bamberg. This monastery Mechtildes rendered a perfect school 
of all virtues, and knowing that a strict discipline and a steady observance of 
rules are the means by which religious persons are to attain to the sanctifi- 
cation of their souls in their state, she taught all her sisters rather to antici- 
pate by dihgence every monastic duty, than by coming one moment too late 
to give signs of the least sloth in the service of their heavenly king. The 
noble monastery of Ottilsteten, or Edelstetin, in Suabia, situated between 
Ausburg and Ulm, being fallen into great remissness, in order to restore be- 
coming discipline therein, Mechtildes was commanded by the bishops of the 
country to repair thither, and to take upon her the direction of that house. 
She urged that it was enough for her to stand arraigned at the bar of Christ 
for the neglect of her own vineyard. But neither her tears nor those of her 
dear sisters could prevail. In this new situation she labored to sanctify her 
own soul, as if she had hitherto done nothing towards the subduing of her 
body in order thereto : and the happy effects of her humble endeavors and 
sighs for others appeared by the perfect regularity and exemplary piety 
which began soon to be evident in that community. None could resist the 
charms of her sweetness and example ; for her virtue was mild to others, 
though austere to herself. She neither screwed up the strings of govern- 
ment too high, nor let them drop too low. She did not mollify the severity 
of the maxims of the gospel, nor the obligations of a religious state : but the 
manner in which she inculcated them, rendered them light and easy by the 
charity with which she seasoned her commands. She prohibited the en- 
closure of her house to secular visitants, and by her abhorrence of worldly 
news and discourse, banished out of her community that dangerous spirit 
which introduces the world into the solitude of the recluse. Her bed was 
a little straw, her diet most austere and slender, and her employment manual 
labor, prayer, and pious reading. For one superfluous word which she 
spoke to a sister, she immediately burst into tears, condemning herself on 
account of an unnecessary breach of silence ; for which she punished her- 
self with fasts and watching for several days. The perpetual fountains of 
her tears were nourished by the deep compunction of her heart. In the 
court of the emperor, to which she happened to be called on account of the 
affairs of her monastery, she observed all the rules of her house. Once 
when confined to her bed by sickness, she complained to her Redeemer, that, 
like an excommunicated person and altogether unworthy, she was exchided 
from joining her voice with her sisters in singing his praises at the midnight 
office : but he in a vision assured her that he was more glorified by her de- 
sire and obedience to his will than by any other sacrifice she could offer 
him. Some time before her death, which she foresaw, she returned to her 
dear monastery of Diessen, in which she departed to our Lord on the 29th 
of March, some time after the year 1300, before her sister St. Gertrude, 
who in her writings mentions the death of St. Mechtildes. Her name has 
never been inserted in the Roman Martyrology ; but occurs in several par- 
ticular calendars both on this day, on the 30th of May, and on the 29th of 
March. See her life compiled by Engelhard, an abbot who was acquainted 
with her, in Canisius, Lect. Antiq. Chatelain's Martyrologe Universel on the 
30th of May.* 

* Trithemius mentions another holy virgin called Mechtildes, who, coming from St. Alban's to Span- 
heim, lived there a recluse, and died in great reputation for sanctity in 11.54. See Trithem. in Chron. 
Hirsaug. ad an. 1154, ed. Freher. p. 136. Also the same Trithem. in Chron. Spanlieim. on the same year. 
Fabricius (Bihl. Med. et infimte Estatis, 1. 12, p. 193) and some others confound Mechtildes of Spanheim with 
St. Mechtildes of Diessen ; though the latter v^'as born several years after the death of the former, not to 
mention other repugnances. 



[April 11. 



From the councils, t. 4, this pope's works in the late Roman edition, and the historians of that age. See T51- 
lemont, t. 15, p. 141, and CeilUer, t. 14, p. 316, who chiefly follow Cluesnel's collection of memoirs for 
his life. Op. t. 2, Diss. 1, which must be compared with, and often corrected by, the remarks of F. Cac- 
ciari, in his Exercitationes in Opera S. Leonis, especially in those De Haeresi Pelagiana. et De Hseresi 

A. D. 461. 

St. Leo, surnaraed the Great, was descended of a noble Tuscan family, 
but born at Rome, as lie himself and St. Prosper assure us.' The quick- 
ness of his parts, and the maturity of his judgment, appeared in the rapid 
progress which he made in his studies. Having rendered himself a great 
master in the different branches of polite literature, especially eloquence, 
he turned his thoughts entirely to the study of the holy scriptures and the- 
ology, to which he made the profane sciences only subservient. " God, who 
destined him to gain great victories over error, and to subject human wisdom 
to the true faith, had put into his hands the arms of science and truth," as 
an ancient general council says.^ Being made archdeacon of the church of 
Rome, he had the chief direction of the most important affairs under pope 
Celestine, as appears from St. Prosper, a letter of St. Cyril to him, and 
Cassian's book against Nestorius. To his penetration and zeal it was owing 
afterwards that Sextus III. discovered the dissimulation of Julian the Pela- 
gian, and rejected his false repentance. It happened that Aetius and Albi- 
nus, the two generals of the emperor Valentinian III., were at variance in 
Gaul, and no one being so well qualified to compose their differences as the 
eloquent and virtuous archdeacon Leo, he was sent upon that important 
commission. During his absence, Sixtus III. died, in 440, and the Roman 
clergy cast their eyes on him for their pastor, judging that he, who for 
sanctity, learning, prudence, and eloquence, was the first man of his age, 
was the most worthy and fit to be seated in the first chair of the church. 
The qualifications and virtues which we admire when found single in others, 
were all united in him to a very great degree. This justly raised, through- 
out the Christian world, the highest expectations from his administration ; 
which yet his great actions far surpassed. He was invited to Rome by a 
public embassy, and expected with impatience ; but it was forty days before 
he could arrive. The joy with which he was received is not to be expressed, 
and he received the episcopal consecration on Sunday the 29th of Septem- 
ber, in 440. We learn from himself what were his sentiments at the news 
of his exaltation. He considered a high dignity as a place where falls are 
most frequent, and always most dangerous; and he cried out :^ " Lord, I 
have heard your voice calling me, and I was afraid : I considered the work 
which was enjoined me, and I trembled. For what proportion is there be- 
tween the burden assigned to me and my weakness, this elevation and my 
nothingness ? What is more to be feared than exaltation without merit, the 
exercise of the most holy functions being intrusted to one who is buried in 
sin ? O you who have laid upon me this heavy burden, bear it with me, I 
beseech you : be you my guide and my support : give me strength, you 

1 Ep. 27, ad Pulcher. c. 4. 

3 Serm. 2, de Assumpt. sua. c. 1, p. 4, 1. 1, ed. Rom. 

2 Cone. t. 4, p. 820. 

April 11. J 



who have called me to the work ; who have laid this heavy burden on my 

A heart thus empty of itself could not fail to be supported and directed 
by the divine grace. He was called to the government of the church in 
the most difficult times, and he diligently applied himself without delay to 
cultivate the great field committed to his care, and especially to pluck up 
the weeds of errors, and to root out the thorns of vices wherever they ap- 
peared. He never intermitted to preach to his people with great zeal ; 
which he often mentions as the most indispensable duty of pastors, and the 
constant practice of his predecessors."* A hundred and one sermons 
preached by this pope on the principal festivals of the year, are still extant. 
He often inculcates in them the practice of holy fasting and almsdeeds, as 
good works which ought to be joined and support each other. We have 
among his works nine sermons on the fast of the tenth month, or of Ember- 
days in December. He says, the Church has instituted the Ember-days in 
the four seasons of the year to sanctify each season by a fast :^ also to pay 
to God a tribute of thanksgiving for the fruits and other blessings which we 
continually receive from his bounty :^ and to arm us constantly against the 
devil. He sets forth the obligation of alms, which is so great that for this 
alone God gives riches, and not to be hoarded up, or lavished in superflu- 
ities : and at the last day he seems in his sentence chiefly to recompense 
this virtue, and to punish the neglect of it, to show us how much alms- 
deeds are the key of heaven, and of all other graces.' He says this obli- 
gation binds all persons, though it is not to be measured by what a man 
has, but by the heart ; for all men are bound to have the same benevolence, 
and desire of relieving others.^ That the rich are obliged to seek out the 
bashful poor, who are to be assisted without being put to the blush in re- 
ceiving.^ He shows the institution of Collects or gatherings for the poor, 
to be derived from the apostles, and ever to have been continued in the 
church for the relief of the indigent.'" He surpasses himself in senti- 
ment and eloquence whenever he speaks of the sweetness of the divine 
love which is displayed to us in the mystery of the incarnation of the Son 
of God. His one hundred and forty-one epistles are wholly employed in 
treating on important subjects of discipline and faith, and alone suffice to 
show his pastoral vigilance and immense labors in every part of the Chris- 
tian world, for the advancement of piety. He brought many infidels to the 
faith, and took great delight in instructing them himself. His signal victo- 
ries over the Manichees, Arians, Apollinarists, Nestorians, Eutychians, 
Novatians, and Donatists, are standing proofs of his zeal for the purity of 
the faith. Carthage being taken by the Vandals in 439, a great number of 
Manichees fled out of Africa to Rome : but there, to escape the rigor of the 
imperial laws against their sect, feigned themselves Catholics. They called 
wine the gall of the dragon, produced by the devil or their evil god : on 
which account they always refrained from that liquor, which they regarded 
as, of its own nature, unclean. To conceal themselves, they received the 
holy communion from the Catholic priests, but under one kind alone, which 
it was left to every one's discretion then to do. This affectation of the here- 
tics passed some time unobserved, as we learn from St. Leo," in the year 
433 * But he no sooner discovered this sacrilegious abuse, than he took 

* Senn. 3, 7, 11. 6 Serm. 18. « Serm. 12. 

' Serm. 8, c. 3, p. 17, and Serm. 9, c. 3, p. 20 ; Serm. 10, c. 1. p. 21. 

8 Serm. 7, item 5 and 6, 16, 39, &c. » Serm. 8, p. 17. 

w Serm. 10, p. 21. " Serm. 4, de Quadrag. 1. 1, p. 217. 

* This practice they continued, till pope Gelasius, in 496, above forty years after St. Leo's time, effectu- 
ally to prevent those sacrilegious and superstitious communions of unworthy hypocrites, commanded all 

VOL. II. — 9 


[April 11. 

the utmost care to prevent the contagion from infecting his flock. He de- 
tected several of these heretics, and among them one whom they called 
their bishop, and to manifest the impiety of this sect, he assembled several 
bishops and priests, and the most illustrious persons of the senate and em- 
pire, and caused the elect of the Manichees, that is, those that were initia- 
ted in their mysteries, to be introduced."^ They confessed publicly many 
impious tenets,* superstitions, and a crime which modesty forbids to be 
named. '^ St. Prosper says their books Avere burnt; but many of them re- 
pented, and abjured their heresy. St. Leo, in receiving them into the 
church, exhorted his people to pray and sigh with him for them.'^ Those 
that remained obstinate were banished. St. Leo, about the same time, 
crushed Pelagianism, which began again to show its head about Aquileia.'* 
His watchfulness put a stop to the growing evil, both in those parts and in 
Rome itself, whei'e St. Prosper detected some remains of the same leaven. 
For this pope, who was a true judge of merit, and drew many learned men 
about his person, had chosen St. Prosper of Aquitaine his secretary, to write 
his letters and dispatch the like business. The Priscillianist heretics 
reigned almost uncontrolled in Spain : only St. Turibius, bishop of Astorga, 
zealously opposed them. St. Leo wrote to commend his zeal, and to awake 
the attention of the other bishops of that country, whom he ordered to con- 
vene a council for the extirpation of the spreading cancer.'^ He examined 
the cause of Chelidonius, bishop of Besancon, deposed by St. Hilary of Ar- 
ies, and restored him to his see.'^ He transferred the dignity of primate 
from the see of Aries to that of Vienne in Gaul, which Zosimus had for- 
merly adjudged to Aries, '^ " Out of respect," as he said, "for the blessed 
Trophimus, (first bishop of Aries,) from the fountain of whose preaching all 
the Gauls had received the streams of faith. '"^ The learned De Marca 
thinks that St. Leo did not deny the jurisdiction of Hilary over Besancon 
before that time, but he judged Chelidonius not to have been guilty of that 
which had been laid to his charge, adding, " that the sentence would have 
stood firm, if the things objected had been true."t St. Leo laid down this 
important maxim for the rule of his conduct, never to give any decision, 
especially to, the prejudice of another, before he had examined into the af- 
fair with great caution and exactness, and most carefully taken all informa- 
tions possible. He was very careful in the choice of persons whom he 
promoted to holy orders, as his writings show ; yet the author of the Spir- 
itual Meadow relates, that he heard Amos, patriarch of Jerusalem, say to 

12 Ep. a, p. 33, and Ep. 15, c. IC, p. 71, t. 1 ; Serm. 15, p. 31, t. 1 ; Serm. 33. p. 87; Serm. 41, p. 111. 
J3 Ep. 15, ad Turib. p. 63 ; Serm. 15. u Serm, 33, Ep. 8. '= Bp. 35. i^ Hj. 

17 Ep. 9, 10. IS See Baronius, ad an. 417. is Zosimus, Ep. ad ep. Gal. 

to receive under both kinds : which law subsisted at Rome as long as the Manichsean heresy made it ne- 
cessary : but after that danger was over, this ordinance of discipline ceased by disuse. 

* Dr. Lardner, in his Credibility of the Gospel, vol. ix., charges St. Leo with falsely accusing the Mani- 
chees of abominable practices without the least color of reason. He ought to have taken notice that 
though the testimony of St. Leo is alone satisfactory, we must certainly believe these heretics against 
themselves, for they were publicly convicted of these crimes, and openly confessed the same before tlie 
most illustrious personages of the Church and State. See Cacciari, Exercitationes in Op. S. Leonis JNl. de 
Manichfeorum liairesi, 1.2, c. 7, p. 142, c. 9, p. 154. 

t A notorious slanderer has presumed to fasten ujwn St. Leo the censure of haxightiness and injustice 
in this afr.iir: but he certainly only betrays his own malice. Hilary was present in the pope's council at 
Kome, together with Chelidonius; but was not able to make good his charge against him. He had also 
ordained another bishop to the see of Projectus, while he was living, who, being then sick, afterwards re- 
covered. This precipitate action of Hilary was an infraction of the canons: nor does his apologist, the 
author of his lite, otter any excuse. To satisfy the clamors of Chelidonius, Projectus, and others, and 
chiefly by his example to enforce the most strict observation of that important canon, the neglect of which 
would fill the church on every side with schisms and confusion, St. Leo deprived Hilary of the primacy 
over the province of Vienne for the time to come, thougli he restored part of it to his successor. See Fa- 
bre, Pariegyrique et Histoire de la Ville d'Arles, 1743. St. Leo indeed seems to have not been acquainted 
in the beginning with the true character of St. Hilary, and therefure to have proceeded with the greater 
severity : but he showed that his heart was incapable of rancor by the am[)le testimony which he gii,ve 
to the sanctity of St. Hilary after his death, in a letter to his successor P>,avennus, ep. 37, ed. (iuesa. 38, 
ed. Kom. p. 171, t. 2. 

April 11.] 



several abbots : " Pray for me. The dreadful weight of the priesthood af- 
frights me beyond measure, especially the charge of conferring orders. I 
have found it written, that the blessed pope Leo, equal to the angels, 
watched and prayed forty days at the tomb of St, Peter, begging through 
the intercession of that apostle to obtain of God the pardon of his sins. 
After this term, St. Peter, in a vision, said to him : Your sins are forgiven 
you by God, except those committed by you in conferring holy orders : of 
these you still remain charged to give a rigorous account."^" St. Leo, with 
regard to those who are to be ordained ministers of the altar, lays down 
this rule, inserted in his words into the body of the canon law : " What is 
it not to lay hands upon any one suddenly, according to the precept of the 
apostle, but not to raise to the honor of the priesthood any who have nor 
been thoroughly tried, or before a mature age, a competent time of trial, the 
merit of labor in the service of the church, and sufficient proofs given of 
their submission to rule, and their love of discipline and zeal for its ob- 

Many affairs in the churches of the East furnished this great pope with 
much employment, as the intrusion of Bassian into the see of Ephesus,^^ &c. 
But above all the resf, the rising heresy of Eutyches drew his attention on 
that side of the world. This heresiarch had been condemned by St. Fla- 
vian in 448 ; yet, by the intrigues of Chrysaphius, a powerful eunuch, he 
prevailed with the weak emperor Theodosius II. to assemble a packed 
council at Ephesus, in which Dioscorus, the wicked patriarch of Alexandria, 
an Eutychian, and general disturber of Christian peace, took upon him to 
preside. This pretended synod, commonly called'the Latrocinale, or cabal 
of Ephesus, met on the 8th of August, 449, acquitted Eutyches, and con- 
demned St. Flavian, with a degree of malice and violence unheard of among 
barbarians.* The legates of Leo, who were Julius, bishop of Puozzoli, the 
ancient Puteoli, Renatus, a priest, HiJarius, a deacon, and Dulcitius, a no- 
tary, refused to subscribe to the unjust sentence, and opposed it with a zeal 
and vigor that was admired by the whole world, says Theodoret." Upon 
the first advice of these proceedings, St. Leo declared them null and void,^'' 
and at the same time he wrote St. Flavian to encourage him, and to the 
emperor himself, telling him that no sacrilegious cabal ever came up to the 
fury of this assembly,"' and conjuring him in these words : " Leave to the 
bishops the liberty of defending the faith : no powers or terrors of the world 
will ever be able to destroy it. Protect the Church, and seek to preserve 
its peace, that Christ may protect your empire." He adds, that he trembles 
to see him draw down the divine vengeance upon his own head : which 
had the appearance of a prediction on account of the various misfortunes 
which befell that prince and his sudden death : though before the latter event 
his eyes began to be opened. Marcian and St. Pulcheria, succeeding in the 
empire, vigorously supported the zealous endeavors of the pope. By his 
authority the general council of Chalcedon, consisting of six hundred or six 
hundred and thirty bishops, was opened on the 8th of October, in 451. St. 
Leo presided by his legates, Paschasinus, bishop of Lilybajum, Lucentius, 

2» Prat. Spir. c. 149. 

2' St. Leo, ep. 1, t. 2, p. 2, ed. Rom. Item Distinct. 78, 3. Quid est manus. from 1 Tim. v. 22. 
2'- Cone. t. 4, p. G87. 23 Tlieodoret, ep. ] Ifi. 

'" Cone. t. 4, p. 47, and Saint Leo, ep. 49 and 56, ed. Uuesn. 50 and 57. ed. Rom. 

^ St. Leo, ep. 42, in ed. Quesn. 43, in ed. Rom p. 187, t. 2 ; St. Leo ad Tlieodos. Imp. ep. 40, ed. Quesn. 
41, ed. Rom. p. 178 ; Ep. ad Pulclieriam Augiistam, ep. 41, ed. (iuesn. 42, ed. Rom. p. 183. 

* On the appeal of St. Flavian to the pope St. Leo, see Cacciari, E.Yercitationes in Opera S. Leonis. Dis- 
sert, de Hajresi Eutychiana, 1. 1. c. 8, p. 387, and c. 9, p. 393. Valentinianus Imp. ep. ad Theodosium Imp- 
inter ep. S. Leonis, 49, p. 201, t. 2. Oil the appeal of Tlieodoret to pope Leo, Cacciari, ibid, and on tliat of 
Eutyches, ib. 



[April 11. 

bishop of Ascoli, and Boniface, priest of Rome. In this synod the memory 
of St. Flavian was vindicated ; and Dioscorus was convicted of having ma- 
liciously suppressed the letters of St. Leo in the Latrocinale of Ephesus, 
and of having presumed to excommunicate St. Leo, which attempt was made 
the principal cause of his deposition : for which, besides other crimes, it 
was also urged against him, that he had pretended to hold a general council 
without the authority of the pope, a thing never lawful, and never done, as 
was observed by the pope's legates.^^ For these crimes and excesses, he 
was by the pope's legates and the whole council declared excommunicated 
and deposed." St. Leo had written to St. Flavian on the 13th of June, in 
449, a long and accurate doctrinal letter, in which he clearly expounded the 
Catholic faith concerning the mystery of the incarnation, against the errors 
both of Nestorius and Eutyches. This excellent letter had been suppressed 
by Dioscorus, but was read by the legates at Chalcedon, and declared by 
the voice of that general council to be dictated by the Holy Ghost, and to be 
a rule throughout the universal Church. The great Theodoret having read 
it, blessed God for having preserved his holy faith.^^ St. Leo approved all 
things that had been done in this council relating to definitions of faith ; but, 
being an enemy to innovations, vigorously opposed the twenty-eighth canon, 
framed in the absence of his legates, by which the archbishop of Constanti- 
nople was declared a patriarch,* and the first among the patriarchs of the 
East.^^ However, the eastern bishops, who usually found access to the 
emperor through the bishop of Constantinople, allowed him that pre-emi- 
nence, which the law of custom confirmed.'" The same council declared 
the bishop of Jerusalem independent of Antioch, and primate of the three 
Palestines.^' In the synodal letter to St. Leo, the fathers beseech him to 
confirm their decrees, saying, " he had presided over them as the head over 
its members."'^ The pope restrained his confirmation to the decrees rela- 
ting to matters of faith,'' which were received with the utmost respect im- 
aginable by the whole Church. Theodoret was restored to his see in the 
council, after having anathematized Nestorius, Ibas, bishop of Edessa, who 
had been unjustly deposed with Theodoret in the Latrocinale of Ephesus, 
was likewise restored upon the same condition. The latter seems never to 
have been very solicitous about Nestorius, but was a warm defender of 
Theodorus of Mopsuestia, whom he regarded as an orthodox doctor, be- 
cause he died in the communion of the Church. Ibas was accused of Nes- 
torianism, but acquitted by Domnus, patriarch of Antioch, and a council held 
in that city in 448. But his letter to Maris, the Persian, was afterwards 
condemned in the fifth general council. 

^ See Marca de Concordia, Sac. et Imperii. 1. 5, c. 
Hsresi Eutychian&. 
'" Cone. t. 4, p. 424. 
=» St. Leo, ep. 87, 92. 
3» Sess. 7. 

5, and Cacciari, Exercitat. in Op. S. Leonis, Dissert, de 

33 St. Leo, ep. 87, c. 2, p. 613, ep. 92, c 5, p. 623, &c. 

as Tlieodoret, ep. 121. 

so See Thoniassin, Discipline de I'Eglise, 1. 1, ch. 6. 

32 Conu. t. 4, p. 833. 

* Tlie episcopal see of Byzantiunj was subject to the metropolitan of Heraclea in Thrace, till, in the 
reign of Constantine, it was honored with the metropolitical dignity. By the second general council, held 
at Constantinople, a precedence was given to the archbishops of this city, before all the other bishops and 
patriarchs of the East, and from that time they exercised a superior jurisdiction over Thrace, ."Vsia Minor, 
and Pontus: which Theodoret calls (Hist. 1. 5, c. 28) three districts, consisting of twenty-eight provinces, 
which St. Chrysostom governed. Tills decree of the council of Constantinople is called by some the date 
of its patriarchal dignity; though it be more properly referred by others to the twenty-eighth canon of the 
council of Chalcedon. See Thomassin, Discipline de I'Eglise, 1. 1, c. 6, p. 22. ,Le Quien shows that this 
canon was originally framed by the clergy of Constantinople, and the bishops whose situation rendered 
them dependent on that church : that St. Leo rejected it, and stirred up the other Oriental patriarchs and 
bishops to maintain the ancient discipline: that St. Proterius, patriarch of Alexandria, and all the bishops 
of Egypt, strenuously opposed this innovation, and so great a number among the Oriental bishops vigor- 
ously exerted their zeal against it, that the archbishops of Constantinople dropped their pretensions to this 
privilege till it was revived by Acacius : from which time it gradually gained ground, till at length other 
churches acquiesced in it. See Le Ciuien, Oriens Christianas de Patriarchatu Constantinopolitano, c. 9, 
t. 1, p. 46. Item, de Patr. Alexandr. t. 2, p. 339. 

April 11.] 



While the eastern empire was thus distracted by heretical factions, the 
western was harassed by barbarians. Attila, the Hunn, enriched with the 
plunder of many nations and cities, marched against Rome.* In the general 
consternation, Saint Leo, at the request of the whole city of Rome, went to 
meet Attila, in hopes of mollifying his rage, and averting the danger that 
threatened his country. Avienus, a man of consular dignity, and Trygetius, 
who had been prefect of the city, were deputed to accompany him in this 
embassy. They found the haughty tyrant at Ambuleium, near Ravenna, 
where the highway passes the river Menzo. Contrary to the expectation 
of every one, he received the pope with great honor, gave him a favorable 
audience, and, through his suggestion, concluded a treaty of peace with the 
empire on the condition of an annual tribute. Baronius, from a writer of 
the eighth century, relates, that Attila saw two venerable personages, sup- 
posed to be the apostles SS. Peter and Paul, standing on the side of the 
pope while he spoke. The king immediately commanded his army to for- 
bear all hostilities, and soon after repassed the Alps, and retired beyond the 
Danube into Pannonia, but in his way home was seized with a violent vomit- 
ing of blood, of which he died in 453. Divisions among his children and 
princes destroyed the empire of the Huns.^'' Thus fell the most haughty 
and furious of all the barbarian heathen kings, styled the terror of the world, 
and the scourge of God, whose instrument he was in punishing the sins of 
Christians. It was the glory of St. Leo to have checked his fury and pro- 
tected Rome, when it was in no condition of defence. In 455, the friends 
of Aetius (whose greatness and arrogance had given the emperor so much 
umbrage that he caused him to be assassinated) revenged the death of that 
general by the murder of Valentinian himself. His wife Eudoxia married 
by compulsion the tyrant Maximus who had usurped the throne : but, not 
brooking these affronts, she invited Genseric, the Arian Vandal king, from 
Africa, to come and revenge the murder of her husband. Maximus fled, 
but was slain by Valentinian's servants on the 12th of June, in the twenty- 
seventh day of his reigri, in 455. Three days after, Genseric arrived, and 
found the gates of Rome open to receive him. St. Leo went out to meet him, 
and prevailed with him to restrain his troops from slaughter and burning, and 
to content himself with the plunder of the city. The example of St. Leo 
shows, that even in the worst of times, a holy pastor is the greatest comfort 
and support of his flock. After the departure of the Vandals with their 
captives, and an immense booty, St. Leo sent zealous Catholic priests and 
alms for the relief of the captives in Africa. He repaired the Basilics, and 

=< Jornand. Rer. Goth., c. 12, 49. Prosp. in Chron. ad an. 452. 

* The Hunns, a savage nation fronti that part of Scythia which now lies in Muscovy, had passed the 
Palus Mctotis, in 276, and made their first inroads upon the coasts of the Caspian sea, and as far as mount 
Taurus in the East. Almost two hundred years after this, Attila, the most powerful and barbarous of all 
the kings of that nation, in 433, had marched first into the East, then subject to Theodosius the younger, 
and having amassed a vast booty in Asia, returned into Pannonia, where he was already master of a large 
territory. His next expedition was directed against the western part of the empire. His army marching 
through Germany, drew along with It additional supplies from all the barbarous nations near which it 
passed, and amounted at length to the number of five hundred, Jornandes says seven hundred, thousand 
fighting men; all stirred up by no other motive than the hope of great spoils from the plunder of the rich- 
est countries of the empire. Entering Gaul, Attila laid in ruins Tongres, Triers, and Metz. Troyes was 
spared by him, at the entreaty of St. Lupus, and St. Nicasius preserved Rheims. The barbarian had just 
taken Orleans by storm, when Aetius, the Roman general, came up with him, expelled him that city, and 
followed him to the plains of Mauriac or Challons, which, according to .Jornandes, were extended in length 
one hundred miles, and seventy in breadth, and seem to have comprised the whole country, known since 
the sixth century under the name of Champagne. Here Attila halted, and when Aetius, with the Romans, 
Visigoths, and Burgundians, came up, these vast fields seemed covered with troops. In a most bloody bat- 
tle, the Hunns were here discomfited. Attila, enraged at this defeat, and having repaired his losses of the 
former year, entered Italy by Pannonia, in 453, took and burned Aquileia, and filled the whole country with 
blood and desolation. Some of the inhabitants, who fled from his arms into the little islands in the shallow 
lakes at the head of the Adriatic gulf, here laid the foundations of the city of Venice, which we find named 
by Cassiodorus, fifty years after this event. Attila sacked Milan, razed Pavia, and wherever he passed laid 
waste whole provinces. The weak emperor Valentinian III. shut himself up in Ravenna, and the Romans, 
in the utmost terror, expected to see the barbarian speedily before their gates. Such was the state of af- 
fairs when Leo went to meet Attila. 



[April 11. 

replaced the rich plate and ornaments of the churches which had been plun- 
dered, though some part had escaped by being concealed, especially what 
belonged to the churches of SS. Peter and Paul, which Baronius thinks 
Genseric spared, and granted to them the privilege of sanctuaries, as was 
done at other times. This great pope, for his humility, mildness, and 
charity, was reverenced and beloved by emperors, princes, and all ranks of 
people, even infidels and barbarians. He filled the holy see twenty-one 
years, one month, and thirteen days, dying on the 10th of November, 461. 
His body was interred in the church of St. Peter, and afterwards translated 
to another place, in the same church, on the 11th of April ; on which day 
his name is placed in the Roman calendar. His relics were again translated 
with great solemnity and devotion, enclosed in a case of lead, and placed in 
the altar dedicated to God under his invocation, in the Vatican church, in 
the year 1715, as is related at length by Pope Benedict XIV.^^ A writer 
who delights in retailing slander, could not refuse this character of St. Leo : 
" He was," says he, " without doubt, a man of extraordinary parts, far supe- 
rior to all who had governed that church before him, and scarce equalled by 

any since 


The writings of this great pastor are the monuments of his extraordinary 
genius and piety.* His thoughts are true, bright, and strong ; and in every 
sentiment and expression we find a loftiness which raises our admiration. 
By it we are dazzled and surprised in every period, and while we think it 
impossible that the style should not sink, we are astonished always to find it 
swelling in the same tenor, and with equal dignity and strength. His diction 
is pure and elegant ; his style concise, clear, and pleasing. It would some- 
times appear turgid in another ; but in him, where it seems to swell the 
highest, a natural ease and delicacy remove all appearance of affectation 

35 De Canoniz. 1. 4, c. 22, § 8, 9, 10; t. 4, pp. 212. 213. 

3s Bower, the apostate Jesuit, in his Lives of the Popes, on St. Leo, t. 2. 

* (iuesnel's edition of the works of St. Leo, more ample than any tha* had preceded, appeared at Paris, 
in 1675, was condemned by the Roman inquisition in 1676, which prohibition was inserted in the Roman 
Index, in 1682, p. 277. This oraturian in several of the stjmmaries, in many passages in the si.xteen dis.-er- 
tatioiis whieh'he sul)inined, and in some unwarrantable alterations of the text itself of St. Leo, is clearly 
convicted of dealing unfairly, in order to fiivor his own erroneous doctrine, and to weaken certain proofs of 
the authority of the holy see. The editor gave a second edition, with some critical amendments, (though 
not in the n)Ost essential points,) at Lyons, in 1675. Savioli, a printer at Venice, gave a new edition of the works 
of SS. Leo and Maxinius, in 1741, with most of Quesnel's notes and dissertations ; but by supine careless- 
ness has printed the text extremely incorrect. Polcti, another printer at Venice, published, in 1748, another 
edition of SS. Leo and Maximus, with the sununaries of Quesiiel, witliout his dissertations : the text is 
printed from Quesnel's edition, with all its faults. The falsifications of Ciuesnel in this edition are com- 
plained of, and several proved upon him by Baluze, Not. et Observ. ad Con. Calced. by Antelmi, John 
Salinas, Coutant, &c. The collection of canons to which Uuesnel has pretixed the false title of the An- 
cient Code of Canons of the Roman Church, (Op. S. Leonis, t. 2, p. 1,) is evidently a private compilation 
of canons of different ages and countries of a modern date, as Coutant (in Collect. Pontif. Romanor. Epis- 
tol. Pra;fat. Gener. p. .57) and others liive demonstrated. The church of Rome made use of the code of 
canons of the universal Church, which Quesnel endeavored to confine to the eastern churches. This 
consisted of the cancms of the four tirst general councils, and of the councils of Ancyra, Gangres, Neocae- 
saria, Antinch, and Laodicea. It was augmented by the addition of the fifty canons called of the apostles, 
those of Sardica, and several others, made by Dionysius the Little, about the year 520. Pope Adrian I. sent 
a copy to Charlemagne, telling him that the church of Rome had u<ed this code for three hundred years. 
Baluze (Dissert, de Thelensi Coiicilio.) shows that Quesnel omitted certain passages, because he thought 
them too favorable to the see of Rome. In the council of Telepte, (a city in Byzacena.) Quesnel foisted 
in the name of Telense, for Teleptt, that he might forge some argument to reject it with the Epistola 
Tractatoria Syricii PapcE per Africam. See Baluze and Cacciari in t. 2. Op. St. Leonis, p. 55. But enough 
on Quesnel's edition of the works of St. Leo. 

F. Cacciari, a Carmelite friar, printed the same at Rome, with notes, in two volumes fol. anno 1753. 
The sermons of this holy pope are contained in the first, being one imndred and one in number: of which 
Quesnel had only given us ninety-six. In the second we have one hundred and forty-five letters of St. 
Leo, besides several others of emperors and other eminent persons relating to St. Leo's affairs. Quesnel 
had only published one hundred and forty-one letters of this pope. They -are most interesting both for 
Church history, and for many important dogmatical decrees and rules of discipline which they contain. 
F. Cacciari gave us, in 1751, Exercitationes in Opera S. Lecjnis, M. in folio, consisting of several disserta- 
tions on the heresies of the Manicha-ans, Priscillianists, Pelagians, and Eutychians. Theologians and the 
whole church stand nuich indebted to him for his labors ; but the value of tVte present would have been 
enhanced if the style had been closer, and less scholastic, and the expressions on some occasions more 
genteel. A French translation of the sermons of St. Leo was published by Abbe de Bellegarde, at Paris, 
in 1701. 

April 11.] s. leo the great, p. 71 

and study, and show it to be the pure effort of a surprising genius and lofty- 
natural eloquence. But the dress with which he clothes his thoughts, is 
much less to be considered than the subjects themselves of which he treats; 
in which the most consummate piety and skill in theology equally raise ad- 
miration, instruct and edify his readers in the learned and pious sermons, 
and doctrinal letters which compose his works. His unwearied zeal and 
unshaken steadiness against vice and error, though armed with all the power 
of a world leagued with the devils against the truth, procured the church 
infinite advantages and victories over the reigning novelties of that age ; and 
his writings are an armory against all succeeding heresies. He fully and 
clearly explains the whole mystery of the incarnation ; he proves," against 
the Eutychians, that Christ had a true body, because his body is really re- 
ceived in the holy eucharist. He laments as the greatest of spiritual evils, 
that at Alexandria, during the violences exercised by the Eutychians, the 
oblation of the sacrifice, and the benediction of chrism had been inter- 
rupted.^* He is very explicit on the supremacy of St. Peter,^ and on that 
of his successors.''" He often recommends himself to the prayers of the 
saints reigning in heaven, especially of St. Peter, and exhorts others to 
place great confidence in their powerful intercession.''' He honors their 
relics and festivals ;''" and testifies that their churches were adorned with 
lights.^' He calls the fast of Lent an apostolical tradition, also that of 
the Ember-days, Whitsun-eve, &C.'''' He adds, that the church retained 
the fast of Ember-days in December from the Jewish practice before Christ. 
Pope Benedict XIV., in a decree by which he commands St. Leo to be hon- 
ored with the mass peculiar to doctors, dated in 1744, bestows on him due 
praises for his eminent learning and sanctity. ^^ 

According to the observation of this holy doctor''^ it is a fundamental maxim 
of our holy religion, that the only true and valuable riches consist in that 
blessed poverty of spirit which Christ teaches us to look upon as the first 
and main step to all happiness. This is a profound and sincere humility of 
heart, and a perfect disengagement from all inordinate love of earthly goods. 
By this rule, those who are exalted above others by their rank, learning, or 
other abilities, differ not by these advantages from the poorest in the eyes 
of God : only poverty of spirit makes the distinction, and shows which is 
truly the greatest. Of this courageous poverty the apostles and primitive 
Christians set us the most illustrious example. " What is greater than this 
their humility ? What is richer than this their poverty ?" By imitating this 
spirit we enter into the possession of the riches of Christ. And we shall 
improve our share in all these spiritual treasures of grace, love, peace, and 
all virtues, in proportion as we shall advance in this spirit. St. Leo puts us 
in mind, in another place,''^ that in putting on this spirit, which is no other 
than that of Christ, or the new man, consists that newness of life in which 
we are bound to walk according to the spirit of Christ ; which delivers us 
from the power of darkness, and transfers us into the kingdom of the Son 
of God ; which raises our love and desires of heavenly goods, and extin- 
guishes in us the concupiscence of the flesh. \¥e put on this spirit by bap- 
tism, and we strengthen ourselves in it by being fed with the body of Christ. 

3T Ep. 46, c. 2, p. 260, ed. Quesn. Ep. 47, p. 183, ed. Rom. Vide etiam Serm. 6, de Jejunio Septirai Meusis, &;c. 

38 Ep. 125, ad Leon, hnper., c. 5, p. 337, ed. Q,iiesn. ; Ep. 129, ed. Eoni. p. 435. 

39 Serin. 2, p. 52, cd. Ciuesn., pp. 5, 6, ed. Rom., &c. 

40 Ep. 89. 93. 4, 5. 10. ed. Quesn. 91. 95. 4, 5. 10. ed. Rom. 

« Serm. 4, c. 5, p. 13 ; Serm. 3, p. 11 ; Serm. 34, c. 4, p. 91. 83. ed. Quesn. 87, ed. See also Serm. 
15, p. 32 ; Serm. 18, p. 39 ; Serm. 41, p. 112 ; Serm. 76, ed. ttuesn. 78, ed. Rom. p. 230 ; Serm. 80, ed. auesn. 
82, ed. Rom. p. 238 ; Serm. 81, ed. Ciuesn, 83, ed. Rom. p. 240, and in several other sermons on the saints. 

*-^ Ej). 59, ed. Quesn. 60, ed. Rom. t. 2, p. 245, &c. « Serm. 100, in Cathedra S. Petri, c. 2, p. 286. 

^* Serm. 46, de (iuadrr.gesima, p. 125 ; Serm. 77, ed. Guesn. 79, ed. Rom., p. 230. 

^^ Bened. XIV. Constit. Militantis Ecclesia;. ^s Serm. 96, ed. Quesn. 99, ed. Rom. p. 279. 

4' Serm. 43, c. 7, t. 1, p. 180, ed. Rom. 



[April 11. 

" For what is the fruit of our partaking of the body and blood of Christ, but 
that we may pass into that which we receive ; and that in whom we are 
dead, and buried, and raised again, (in the newness of our spirit and life,) 
we may bear him both in spirit and in our flesh through all things." Next 
to frequent devout communion, the assiduous meditation on the life of Christ 
is the most powerful means of learning the true spirit of his divine virtues, 
particularly of that humility of which his whole life was the most astonish- 
ing model, and which is the summary of his holy precepts.''^ St. Leo, by 
his tender devotion to our Redeemer, and the zeal with which he defended 
the mystery of his incarnation, was penetrated with his spirit of poverty and 
humility j from whence sprang that ardent charity, that admirable greatness 
of soul, and that invincible courage which were so conspicuous in all his 


Called by Christ his faithful witness, Apoc. xi. 13. He suffered at 
Pergamus ; where his tomb was famed for miracles in after ages. See 
Papebroke, p. 4 ; Tillemont, t. 2, p. 130. 



He was a nobleman, and in his youth served in the armies of Ethelred, 
king of Mercia : but the grace of God making daily stronger impressions 
on his heart, in the twenty-fourth year of his age he reflected how danger- 
ous a thing it is to the soul to serve in wars which too often have no other 
motive than the passions of men and the vanities of the world, and resolved 
to consecrate the remainder of his life totally to the service of the King of 
kings. He passed two years in the monastery of Repandun, studying to 
transcribe the virtues and mortifications of all the brethren into the copy of 
his own life. After this novitiate in the exercises of an ascetic life, with 
the consent of his superior, in 699, with two companions, he passed in a 
fisher's boat into the isle of Croyland, on the festival of St. Bartholomew, 
whom he chose for his patron, and, by having recourse to his intercession, 
he obtained of God many singular favors. Here he suffered violent tempta- 
tions and assaults, not unlike those which St. Athanasius relates of St. An- 
tony : he also met with severe interior trials, but likewise received frequent 
extraordinary favors and consolations from God. Hedda, bishop of Dor- 
chester, visiting him, ordained him a priest. The prince Ethelbald, then an 
exile, often resorted to him, and the saint foretold him the crown of the Mer- 
cians, to which he was called after the death of king Coelred, in 719. The 
saint, foreknowing the time of his death, sent for his sister Pega,t who lived 
a recluse in another part of the fens, four leagues off" to the west. He sick- 

« Serm. 36, c. 3, p. 95, ib. 

*, Called in the English Saxon language Guthlacer of Cruwland. 

t St. Pega is honored on the 8th of January. Her cell, near Peakirk, stood at the extremity of a high 
ground, which juts out into the fenny level, where is the chapel of St. Pega's monastery. Here passed 
Carsdike, so called from Carausius. It was projected by Agricola, and perfected by Severus, to carry corn 
in boats for the army in the North. It was conducted from Peterborough into the Trent at Torksey, below 
Burton, whence the navigation was carried on by natural rivers to York. Carausius repaired it, and con- 
tinued it on the borders of the fenny level as far as Cambridge, which he built and called Granta. This 
place was the head of the navigation, and Carausius instituted the great fair when the fleet of boats set 
out with corn and other provisions, which is still kept, with many of the ancient Roman customs, under 
the name of Stourbridge fair. See Stukeley's Medallic History of Carausius, 1. 1, p. 172, &c. ; t. 2, c. 5, 
p. 129. 


April 11.] 



ened of a fever, and on the seventh day of his illness, during which he had 
said mass every morning, and on that day by w^ay of viaticum, he sweetly 
slept in our Lord, on the 11th of April, 714, being forty-seven years old, of 
which he had passed fifteen in this island. See his life written by Felix, 
monk of Jarrow, a contemporary author, from the relation of Bertelin, the 
companion of the saint's retirement, with the notes of Henschenius ;* Mabil- 
lon. Acta Bened. t. 3, p. 263, n. 1. See also his short English-Saxon life, 
Bibl. Cotton. Julius, A. X» 


A DISCIPLE of St. Patrick, who flourished in the isle of Bute, in Scotland, 
and was there honored after his death. See Bp. Lesley's nephew, De Vi- 
tis Sanctor. Scot. p. 235. 


Abbot in Ireland, titular saint of a parish church, an ancient abbey, and 
a great number of chapels in that island. See Colgan MSS. ad 11 Apr. 

* Ingnlphus, the great and learned abbot of Croyland, who died in 1109, wrote a book, On the life and 
miracles of St. Guthlake, which is not now extant. His accurate history of the abbey of Croyland, from 
the year 664 to 1091, was published by Sir Henry Saville, but far more complete and correct by Thomas 
Gale, in 1684. In it he relates, p. 16, that in the year 851, Ceolnoth, archbishop of Canterbury, by having 
recourse to the intercession of St. Guthlake, was miraculously cured of a palsy, after his recovery had 
been despaired of. This miracle the archbishop attested in a council of bishops and noblemen, in presence 
of king Bertulf : upon which occasion, all that were present bound themselves by oath to perform a pil- 
grimage to the shrine of the saint at Croyland. After this miracle, great numbers seized with the same 
distemper recovered their health, by resorting thither from all parts of the kingdom to implore the divine 
succor through the intercession of his servant. Ethelbald, coming to the crown, had founded there a mon- 
astery. He had caused great stakes and piles of oak to be driven into the ground in this swampy place, 
and the quagmire to he filled up with earth brought from the country called TJpland, eight miles distant. 
This foundation being laid, he erected a church of stone, with a sumptuous monastery. This building was 
utterly destroyed by the Danes in 870 ; of all the monks and domestics, only one boy escaping to give the 
world an account of this massacre and devastation ; in which the bodies of Cissa, priest and hermit, St. 
Egbat, St. Tatwin, St. Bettelina, St. Etheldrith, and others, were reduced to ashes. Some few monks still 
chose their residence there among the ruins, till Turketil, the pious chancellor to king Edred, in 946, rebuilt 
the abbey. This great man was cousin-german to three brothers who were all successively kings — Athel- 
stan, Edmund, and Edred — being son of Ethelward, younger brother to their father Edward the Elder. To 
all these three kings he had been chief minister at home, and generalissimo in all their wars abroad, and 
had often vanquished the Danes and other enemies. When Analaph had rebelled and usurped the king- 
dom of Northumberland, with a numerous army of Danes, Norwegians, Scots, Picts, and Cumbrians, most- 
ly idolaters, and put king Athelstan to flight at Bruntford in Northumberland, Turketil rescued him out of 
danger by defeating the enemy with his Londoners and Mercians, and killing Constantino, king of the 
Scots. The emperor Henry, Hugh, king of France, and Lewis, prince of Aquitaine, sent ambassadors with 
letters of congratulation for this victory, and rich presents of spices, jewels, horses, gold vessels, a part of 
the true cross, and of the crown of thorns in rich cases, the sword of Constantino the Great, in the hilt 
of which was one of the nails with which Christ was crucified, &c. Turketil was afterwards sent by 
king Athelstan to conduct his four royal sisters to their nuptials ; the two first to Cologne, to the emperor 
Henry, where one married his son Otho, the other one of his princes : tlie third he accompanied to king 
Hugh, whose son she married ; and the fourth was given in marriage to Lewis, prince of Aquitaine. The 
chancellor was enriched by these princes with many precious relics and' other presents; all which he 
afterwards bestowed on the abbey of Croyland. Having long served his country, and subdued all its ene- 
mies, he earnestly begged of king Edred leave to resign his honors. The king, startled at the proposal, 
threw himself at his feet, entreating him not to forsake him. Turketil, seeing his sovereign at his feet, 
cast himself on the ground, and only rose to lift up the king: but adjuring him hy the apostle St, Paul, 
(to whom the religious prince bore a singular devotion,) he at length e.xtorted his consent. Immediately 
he dispatched a crier to proclaim through all the streets of London, that whoever had any demands upon 
Turketil, he should repair to him on a day, and at a place by him assigned, and he should be paid : ^nd 
that if any one thought he had ever been injured by him, upon his complaint, he should receive full satis- 
faction for all damages, and threefold over and above. This he amply e.vecuted : then made over sixty of 
his manors to the king, and six to the monastery of Croyland. Being accompanied thither by the king, he 
there took the monastic habit, and was made abbot in 948. He restored the house to the greatest splen- 
dor ; and, having served God in it twenty-seven years, died of a fever in 975, in the sixty-eighth year of 
his age. It was his usual saying, which he often repeated to his monks: "Preserve well the fire of your 
charity, and the fervor of your devotion." Croyland, pronounced Crouland, signifies a desert fenny land. 
The monks, with incredible industry, rendered it fruitful, joined the island to the continent, and raised 
several stupendous works about it. 

VOL. II. 10 



[April 12. 



From his authentic acts contained in a letter, written by the church of Gothia to that of Cappadocia, of 
which St. Basil was then the chief light ; and penned, in all appearance, by St. Ascholius, bishop of 
Thessalonica, at that time subject to the Goths. 

A. D. 372. 

The faith of Christ erected its trophies not only over the pride and sophis- 
try of the heathen philosophers, and the united power of the Roman em- 
pire, but also over the kings of barbarous iniidel nations ; who, though in 
every other thing the contrast of the Romans, and enemies to their name, 
yet vied with them in the rage with which they sought, by every human 
stratagem, and every invention of cruelty, to depress the cross of Christ : 
by which the finger of God was more visible in the propagation of his faith. 
Even among the Goths, his name was glorified by the blood of martyrs. 
Athanaric, king of the Goths,* in the year 370, according to St. Jerom, 
raised a violent persecution against the Christians among them. The Greeks 
commemorate fifty-one martyrs who suffered in that nation. The two most 
illustrious are SS. Nicetas and Sabas. This latter was by birth a Goth, 
converted to the faith in his youth, and a faithful imitator of the obedience, 
mildness,, humility, and other virtues of the apostles. He was affable to all 
men, yet with dignity ; a lover of truth, an enemy to all dissimulation or dis- 
guise, intrepid, modest, of few words, and a lover of peace ; yet zealous and 
active. To sing the divine praises in the church, and to adorn the altars, 
was his great delight. He was so scrupulously chaste, that he shunned all 

* That barbarous people, which swarmed originally from Gothland in Sweden, passed first into Pome- 
rania, where Tacitus places them ; thence to the borders of the Palus Maotis, where Caracalla checked 
their inroads by a victory over them in 215. Yet they extended themselves along the Danube, and into 
Thrace and Greece, and by their furious incursions were to the Roman empire the most troublesome swarm 
of the whole northern hive, till they ovcrthrev^' the empire of the West, erecting on its ruins the kingdoms 
of the Ostrogoths, or eastern Goths, in Italy, and of the Visigoths, or western Goths, in the southern parts 
of France and in Spain. The Goths began to receive the light of the faith about the reign of Valerian, 
from certain priests and other captives whom in their inroads they had carried away out of Galatia and 
Cappadocia, and who, by healing their sick and preaching the gospel, converted several among thein, as 
Sozomen (b. 2, c. 6i and Philostorgius (b. 2, c. 5) relate. Hence St. Basil (ep. 333, p. 330) says, that the 
seeds of the gospel among the Goths were brought from Cappadocia by the blessed Eutychius, a man of 
eminent virtue, who, by the power of the Holy Ghost and his gifts, had softened the hearts of those bar- 
barians. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, (Cat. 16, n. 22,) in 343, mentions the Goths and Sarinatians among the 
Christians, who had bishops, priests, monks, holy virgins, and martyrs. In the council of Nice, among the 
subscriptions, we find that of Theophilus, bishop of Gothia. Ulphilas succeeded Theophilus, and after 
his example, adhered to the council of Nice and the Catholic faith, as Socrates (b. 2, c 42) and Sozomen 
(b. fi, c. 37) expressly affirm ; " which was the faith of his ancestors," says Theodoret, (b. 4, c. 33.) He 
taught the Goths to write, invented their alphabet, and translated the Bible into their language. In the 
year 374, St. Basil (ep. 164, p. 2.54) still commended the faith of the Goths. But Ulphilas being sent to 
Constantinople, in 376, lo beg of the emperor Valens certain lands in Thrace, was gained over by Eudoxius 
and other crafty Arians, to enibrace their heresy, and pervert the faith of his countrymen, as Sozomen 
(b. 6, c. 37) and Theodoret (b. 4, c. 33) testify. Athanaric, king of the Thervingian Goths, who bordered 
on the empire, raised a bloody persecution a^Hinstthe Christians in 370. Fritigernes, king of the western 
Goths, was at war with Athanaric, and being the weaker, in order to engage the emperor Valens to succor 
him, embraced the Christian religion and the Arian heresy at the same time, by the means of Ulphilas. 
But the church, under the persecutor Athanaric, remained yet untainted ; and both the Latin and Greek 
church has always venerated the martyrs that sullerod under him. Moreover, the acts of St. Sabas were 
addressed to the churches of Cappadocia, of which St. Basil was the metropolitan: and seem drawn up 
by St. Ascholius, bishop of Thessalonica, a prelate closely linked with St. Athanasius, as St. Basil assures 
us, (ep. 154, p. 243,) who also praised St. Ascholius (ep. 164, p. 254) for propagating the faith among bar- 
barous nations, while Christian princes sought by Arianism to destroy it. He also says, that one coming 
from those parts preached up against the Arians the purity of the faith professed there, (ep. 164, p. 254.) 
St. Ambrose extols their faith and zeal against Arianism, together with their martvrdom, (in c'i, Luca?. p. 
12S4.) So does Theodoret, (Hist. b. 4, c. 28, 30, 33.) St. Austin says, that the king of the Goths persecti- 
ted the Christians with wonderful cruelty, when there were none but Catholics in Gothia, (de civ. Dei, I. 
18, c. 52.) This remark seemed necessary to correct the mistake of certain modern English writers, who 
pretend that the Goths embraced Christianity and Arianism at the same time. 

April 12.] 



and being told he had nothing besides the clothes on his 

Such a fellow can do us 

conversation with women, except what was indispensable. He often spent 
whole days and nights in prayer, and devoted his whole life to the exercises 
of penance : flying vain-glory, and by words and example inducing others 
to a love of virtue, he burned with an ardent desire in all things to glorify 
Jesus Christ. The princes and magistrates of Gothia began, in 370, to 
persecute the Christians, by compelling them to eat meats which had been 
sacrificed to idols, out of a superstitious motive, as if they were sanctified. 
Some heathens who had Christian relations, desiring to save them, prevailed 
upon the king's oflicers to present them common meats which had not been 
offered to the idols. Sabas condemned this impious collusion, and not only 
refused to eat such meats, but protested aloud that whoever should eat them 
would be no longer a Christian, having by that scandalous compliance re- 
nounced his faith. Thus he hindered many from falling into that snare of 
the devil, but displeased others, who banished him from his town, though 
they some time after recalled him home. The next year the persecution 
was renewed, and a commissary of the king arrived at St. Sabas's town in 
search of Christians. Some of the inhabitants offered to swear on the vic- 
tims that there were no Christians in the place. Sabas appeared, and step- 
ping up to those who were going to take that oath, said : " Let no man 
swear for me : for I am a Christian." Notwithstanding this, the commissary 
ordered the oath to be tendered. Therefore the principal men of the city 
hid the other Christians, and then swore there was but one Christian in 
their town. The commissary commanded that he should appear. Sabas 
boldly presented himself. The commissary asked the bystanders what 
wealth he had 

back, the commissary despised him, saymg 
neither good nor harm." 

The persecution was renewed with much greater fury in 372, before 
Easter. Sabas considered how he could celebrate that solemnity, and for 
this purpose set out to go to a priest named Gouttica, in another city. Being 
on the road, he was admonished by God to return, and keep the festival 
with the priest Sansala. He did so, and on the third night after, Atharidus, 
son of one that enjoyed a petty sovereignty in that country, entered the 
town, and with an armed troop suddenly broke into the lodgings of Sansala, 
surprised him asleep, bound him, and threw him on a cart. They pulled 
Sabas out of bed without suffering him to put on his clothes, and dragged 
him, naked as he was, over thorns and briers, forcing him along with whips 
and staves. When it was day, Sabas said to his persecutors : " Have not 
you dragged me, quite naked, over rough and thorny grounds ? Observe 
whether my feet are wounded, or whether the blows you gave me have 
made any impression on my body :" and indeed they could not perceive 
any the least marks. The persecutors being enraged, for want of a rack, 
took the axletree of a cart, laid it upon his neck, and stretching out his 
hands, fastened them to each end. They fastened another in like manner 
to his feet, and in tliis situation they tormented him a considerable part of 
the following night. When they were gone to rest, the woman of the house 
in which they lodged untied him : but he would not make his escape, and 
spent the remainder of that night in helping the woman to dress victuals for 
the family. The next day Atharidus commanded his hands to be tied, and 
caused him to be hung upon a beam of the house, and soon after ordered 
his servants to carry him and the priest certain meats that had been offered 
to idols, which they refused to eat, and Sabas said : '' This pernicious meat 
is impure and profane, as is Atharidus himself who sent it." One of the 
slaves of Atharidus, incensed at these words, struck the point of his javelin 
against the saint's breast with such violence, that all present believed he 

76 s. sABAs, M. [April 12. 

had been killed. But St. Sabas said : " Do you think you have slain me ? 
Know, that I felt no more pain than if the javelin had been a lock of wool." 
Atharidus, being informed of these particulars, gave orders that he should 
be put to death. Wherefore, having dismissed the priest Sansala, his com- 
panion, they carried away St. Sabas in order to throw him into the Musseus.* 
The martyr, filled with joy in the Holy Ghost, blessed and praised God 
without ceasing for thinking him worthy to suffer for his sake. Being come 
to the river side, the officers said one to another : " Why don't we let this 
man go 1 He is innocent, and Atharidus will never know any thing of the 
matter." St. Sabas, overhearing them, asked them why they trifled, and 
were so dilatory in obeying their orders ? "I see," said he, " what you 
cannot : I see persons on the other side of the river ready to receive my 
soul, and conduct it to the seat of glory : they only wait the moment in 
which it will leave my body." Hereupon they threw him into the river, 
praising God to the last ; and by the means of the axletree they had fas- 
tened about his neck, they strangled him in the water. He therefore suffered 
martyrdom, say the acts, by water and wood, the symbols of baptism and 
the cross ; which happened on the 12th of April, Valentinian and Valens 
being emperors, in 372. After this the executioners drew his body out of 
the water, and left it unburied : but the Christians of the place guarded it 
from birds and beasts of prey. Junius Soranus, duke of Scythia, a man 
who feared God, carried off the body, which he sent into his own country, 
Cappadocia. With these relics was sent a letter from the church of Gothia 
to that of Cappadocia, which contains an account of the martyrdom of St. 
Sabas, and concludes thus : " Wherefore offering up the holy sacrifice on 
the day whereon the martyr was crowned, impart this to our brethren, that 
the Lord may be praised throughout the Catholic and Apostolic Church for 
thus glorifying his servants." Thus the acts, which were sent to the church 
of Cappadocia, together with the relics of St. Sabas. f Both the Greek 
and Latin Martyrologies mention this martyr. 

The martyrs despised torments and death, because the immense joys of 
heaven were always before their eyes. If they made a due impression 
upon our souls, we should never be slothful in the practice of virtue. When 
an ancient monk complained of being weary of living in close solitude, his 
abbot said to him : " This weariness clearly proves, that you have neither 
the joys of heaven nor the eternal torments of the damned before your 
eyes : otherwise, no sloth or discouragement could ever seize your soul." 
St. Austin gives the following advice : "Not onlythink of the road through 
which thou art travelling, but take care never to lose sight of the blessed 
country in which thou art shortly to arrive. Thou meetest here with passing 
sufferings, but wilt soon enjoy everlasting rest. In order to labor with con- 
stancy and cheerfulness, consider the reward. The laborer would faint in 
the vineyard, if he was not cheered by the thought of what he is to receive. 
When thou lookest up at the recompense, every thing thou doest or sufferest 
will appear light, and no more than a shadow : it bears no manner of pro- 
portion with what thou art to receive for it. Thou wilt wonder that so 
much is given for such trifling pains. "^ 

1 S. Aug. Cone. 2, in Ps. 36. 

* A river in Wallachia, now called JIussovo, which falls into the Danube a little below Eebnik. 

t It is supposed that this letter was penned by St. Aschnlius, bishop of Thessalonica, the capital of 
M- cednnia: lor St. B^sil, (ep. 164, p. 2S4.) writing to St. Ascholius, thanks him for his account of the 
persecution, and of the in:irlyr's triumph by water and wood. And again, (ep. 165, p. 256,) thanks hirn 
for the body of the mnrtyr he had sent him, probably by the commission of duke Soranus, a relation of St. 
Basil, who had written to him (ep. 155, p. 244, ed. Ben.) begging him to enrich his country with the relics 
of some martyrs in that persecution. 

April 12.] s. zeno, b. c. 77 


From his life, compiled from his writings and other monuments, by Peter and Jerom Ballerini, two learned 
priests of Verona, and brothers, in their third dissertation in the excellent edition they gave of tliis father's 
works, p. 109. See also the marquis Scipio Matfei, Historias Diplomatics! IVIonumenta, at the end, p. 
329. Also the same author, Veronse Illustratce, par. II. The history of the translation of his relics 
by an anonymous monk ; and Serie Chronologica dei Vescovi di Verona, par BiancoUni, a Verona, 
1761, 4to. 

A. D. 380. 

This holy prelate is styled a martyr by St, Gregory the Great/ and in 
several martyrologies. But was honored only with the title of confessor, in 
the ancient missal of Verona, before the time of Lewis Lippoman, bishop of 
that city, in 1548 :* and it appears, from the manner in which St. Ambrose, 
who was his contemporary, writing to Syagrius, our saint's successor, 
speaks of his happy death, and extols his eminent sanctity, that he did not 
die by the sword. ^ Living in the days of Constantius, Julian, and Valens, 
, he might deserve the title of martyr, by sharing in the persecutions carried 
on by those princes. Hence, in some calendars he is styled martyr, in 
others confessor. 

The marquis Scipio Maffei, and some others, pretend from his name that 
he was a Grecian : but the Ballerini show, from the natural easiness, and 
the sharpness and conciseness of his style, that he was by birth, or at least 
by education, a Latin, and an African ; which is confirmed from his pane- 
gyric on St. Arcadius, a martyr of Mauritania. From the African martyr, 
called Zeno, it is clear this name was there in use. Our saint seems to have 
been made bishop of Verona in the year 362, in the reign of Julian the 
Apostate. We learn, from several of his sermons, that he baptized every 
year a great number of idolaters, and that he exerted himself with great zeal 
and success against the Arians, whose party had been exceedingly strength- 
ened in those parts by the favor of the einperor Constantius, and the arti- 
fices of the ringleaders of that sect, Ursacius and Valens, and particularly 
of Auxentius, who held the see of Milan, into which the heretics had in- 
truded him, for twenty years, till 374. He also opposed himself, as a strong 
bulwark, against the errors of the Pelagians. The church of Verona was 
purged by his zealous labors and holy prayers, in a great measure, both of 
heresy and of idols. His flock being grown exceeding numerous, he found it 
necessary to build a great church, in which he was liberally assisted by the 
voluntary contributions of the rich citizens.' In this church he mentions a 
cross of wood erected, as it were, to defend the doors.'' By the precepts 
and example of this good pastor, the people were so liberal in their alms, 
that their houses were always open to poor strangers, and none of their own 
country had occasion even to ask for relief, so plentiful were the necessities 
of all prevented.^ And he congratulates them upon the interest which they 
accumulate in heaven by money bestowed on the poor, by which they not 
only subdue avarice, but convert its treasures to the highest advantage, and 
without exciting envy. " For what can be richer than a man to whom God 

1 Dial. 1. 3, c. 19. 2 St. Ambros. ep. 5, ad Syagrium. 

2 St. Zeno, 1. 1, Tr. 14, p. 103. 4 lb. p. 106. 
6 L. 1, Tr. 10, p. 83. 

* Hence some have distinguished two Saint Zenos, bishops of Verona, the first a martyr, about the 
reign of Gallien: the other an illustrious father of the fourth century. But Onuphrius,in his exact history 
of the bishops of Verona, mentions but one of that name, the predecessor of Syagrius, in the fourth cen- 
tury : in which the Ballerini, and all judicious critics, now agree. 

78 s. ZENO, B. c. [April 12. 

is pleased to acknowledge himself debtor?" After the battle of Adrianople, 
in 378, in which the Goths defeated Valens, with a greater slaughter of the 
Romans than had ever been known since the battle of Cann«, the barba- 
rians made in the neighboring provinces of Illyricum and Thrace an incredi- 
ble number of captives.^ It seems to have been on this occasion, that the 
charities of the inhabitants of Verona were dispersed like fruitful seeds 
through the remotest provinces, and by them many were ransomed from 
slavery, many rescued from cruel deaths, many freed from hard labor/ St. 
Zeno himself lived in great poverty.^ He makes frequent mention of the 
clergy which he trained up to the service of the altar, and the priests his 
fellow-laborers, to whom a retribution was allotted at Easter, according to 
every one's necessities and functions.^ He speaks of the ordinations'" which 
he performed at Easter :* also the solemn reconciliation of penitents, which 
was another function of that holy time." St. Ambrose mentions,'^ at Vero- 
na, virgins consecrated to God by St. Zeno, who wore the sacred veil, and 
lived in their own houses in the city ; and others who lived in a monastery, 
of which he seems to have been both the founder and director, before anv 
were established by St. Ambrose at Milan. Love-feasts, or agapes, were 
originally established on the festivals of martyrs in their cemeteries, which, 
by the degeneracy of manners, were at length converted into occasions of 
intemperance and vanity. St. Zeno inveighed warmly against this abuse." 
Nor can we doubt but he was one of the principal amongst the bishops of 
Italy, who, by their zeal and eloquence, entirely banished out of their dio- 
ceses a custom which gave occasion to such an abuse, for which St. Austin 
gave them due praise. '"* St. Zeno extended his charity to the faithful de- 
parted, and condemned severely the intemperate grief of those who inter- 
rupted by their lamentations the divine sacrifices and public office of the 
church for their deceased friends,! which the priests performed by apostolic 
tradition at the death and funerals of those who slept in Christ. St. Zeno 
received the crown of his labors by a happy death, in 380, on the 12th of 
April, on which day he is commeniprated in the Roman Martyrology. He 
is honored at Verona with two other festivals, that of the translation of his 
relics on the 21st of May, and that of his episcopal consecration, and also 
of the dedication of his new church in the reign of Pepin, king of Italy, on 
the 6th of December. The first church which bore his name was built over 
his tomb, on the banks of the river Adige, without the walls of the city. St. 
Gregory the Great relates the following miracle, which happened two cen- 
turies after the death of the saint, and which he learned from John the Pa- 
trician, who was an eye-witness, with king Autharis and count Pronul- 
phus.'* In the year 589, at the same time that the Tiber overflowed a con- 
siderable quarter of Rome, and the flood overtopped the walls, the waters 
of the Adige, which falls from the mountains with excessive rapidity, 

6 Ammian. Marcellin ; Zozimus, 1. 4, c. 31 ; St. Ambros. de Offic. 1. 2, c. 15 and 28. 

' lb. p. 82. 8 L. 2, Tr. 14, p. 251. 

» L. 2, Tr. .50, de Pascha. 6, p. 261. i" lb. 

11 lb. p. 162. 12 S. Ambros. ep. 5, ad Syagrium. 

" S. Zeno, 1. 1, Tr. 15, p. 115. Vide Annot. 18, ib. and S. Ambr. 1, de Elia et Jejunio. c. 17, n. 62. 

14 S. AuR. ep. 22, Item ep. 29 and Conf. 1. 6, c. 2. 

15 S. Greg. M. Dial. 1. 3, c. 19. 

* From the omission of Easter, in the enumeration of the times for conferring holy Orders, by Gelasiiis, 
ep. 9, ad Episc. per Bruttios et Lucanium, c. 11, by pope Zachary, in the Roman council, in 743, &c., some 
have pretended, with Cluesnel (in Op. S. Leonis, diss. 3, n. 5, et not. in ep. 11) and Mabillon, (Musee Ital. 
t. 2, p. 104,) that anciently Easter was not one of the times for conferring holy Orders. But that it was so 
at Verona, and doubtless in many other churches, is clear from St. Zeno, 1. 2, Tr. 49, Pascha 5. p. 201. The 
reconciliation of penitents was performed on Maunday Thursday, according to the Sacramentaries of Gela- 
sius, &c., but on Good-Friday at Milan, as appears from S. Amlirose, ep. 20, ad Marcellin. n. 56, Imitnted 
afterwards in Spain, and in some churches in France. See Martenne, t. 2, de Antiquis. Eccles. Kitibus, 
1. 1. c. 6, art. 5. 

t Solemnia ipsa divina quibus a Sacerdotibus Dei quiescentes commendari consueverunt, profanis aliquo- 
ties ululatibus rumpit. S. Zeno, 1. 1, Tr. 16, p. 126. 

April 12.] 

S. ZENO, B. C. 


threatened to drown great part of the city of Verona. The people flocked 
in crowds to the church of their holy patron Zeno : the waters seemed to 
respect its doors, they gradually swelled as high as the windows, yet the 
flood never broke into the church, but stood like a firm wall, as when the 
Israelites passed the Jordan ; and the people remained there twenty-four 
hours in prayer, till the water subsided within the banks of the channel. 
This prodigy had as many witnesses as there were inhabitants of Verona. 
The devotion of the people to St. Zeno was much increased by this and 
other miracles ; and, in the reign of Pepin, king of Italy, son of Charle- 
magne, and brother of Louis Debonnaire, Rotaldus, bishop of Verona, trans- 
lated his relics into a new spacious church, built under his invocation in 
865, wli^re they are kept with singular veneration in a subterraneous 

St. Zeno is chiefly known to us by his suflTerings for the faith. Persecu- 
tions and humiliations for Christ are not a chastisement, but a recompense, 
and the portion of his most faithful servants. Happy are they who know 
their value, and bear them at least with patience and resignation ; but more 
happy they who, with the martyrs and all the saints, sufl'er them with a holy 

joy and exultation. From his own feeling sentiments, and perfect practice 
of patience, St. Zeno composed his excellent sermon on that virtue, which 
he closes with this pathetic prayer and eulogiura : " How earnestly do I de- 
sire, if I were able, to celebrate thee, Patience, queen of all things ! but 
by my life and manners more than by my words. For thou restest in thy 
own action and council more than in discourses, and in perfecting rather 
than in multiplying virtues. Thou art the support of virginity, the secure 
harbor of widowhood, the guide and directress of the married state, the una- 
nimity of friendship, the comfort and joy of slavery, to which thou art often 
liberty. By thee, poverty enjoys all, because, content with itself, it bears 
all. By thee, the prophets were advanced in virtue, and the apostles united 
to Christ. Thou art the daily crown and mother of the martyrs. Thou art 
the bulwark of faith, the fruit of hope, and the friend of charity. Thou con- 
ductest all the people and all divine virtues, and dishevelled hairs bound up 
into one knot, for ornament and honor. Happy, eternally happy, is he who 
shall always possess thee in his soul.""' In the following discourse, he 
speaks no less pathetically on humility : but surpasses himself in his ser- 
mon on charity, or divine love. "0 Charity! how tender, how rich, how 
powerful art thou ! He who possesseth not thee, hath nothing. Thou 
couldst change God into man. Thou hast overcome death, by teaching a 
God to die,'"^ &c. 

15 St. Zeno. 1. 1, Tract. 6, de Patientla. p. 63. 

" L. 1, ty. 2. de Charitate. 

* The lire and spirit of tlie good African writers are so remarkable in the sermons of St. Zeno, that Gas- 
par Bartliius calls him the Christian Apuleius. One hundred and twenty-seven sermons were printed un- 
der his name at Venice, in 1508, at Verona in 158G, and in the Libraries of the Fathers. In the MS. copies, 
as in tnat vvliich Hincmar gave to ihe monastery of St. Eemigius at Khcirns, the tille of St. Zeno's works 
belonged only to the first part, and others of different authors were added without their names or a differ- 
ent title. Hence Dupin, TiUemont, Ceillier, t. 8, p. 362, and others, have been led into several mistakes 
about the writings of St. Zeno, which are corrected, and all the difficulties cleared up, by the two learned 
editors of the new excellent edition, published at Verona, in folio, in 1739, and dedicated to cardinal Pas- 
sionei. Here, according to the ancient MSS. these sermons are called Tractatus, which title was given in 
that age to familiar short discourses made to the people. They are divided into two books ; the first of 
which contains sixteen Tractatus, or sermons, the second seventy-seven, much shorter. Many points of 
ninrality and discipline, as well as articles of^ our faith, are illustrated in these discourses. It appears, 
from I. 2, tr. 35, p. 234, that it was the custom at that time to plunge the wholv body in the water in bap- 
tism, and that the water was wanned ; for which purpose, the editors observe that the popes Innocent I. 
and Sextus III. had adorned the great baptistery at Rome with two silver stags with cocks. St. Zeno is tlie 
only author wlio mentions the custom of giving a medal to every one that was baptized. See the Balle- 
rini, Annot. ib. p. 233, et in 1. 1, Tractat. 14, p. 108. The spurious discourses are thrown into an appendix, 
and consist of two sermons of Potamius, a Greek bishop, mentioned in a letter wrilten to St. Athanasius, pub- 
lished by Luke D'Acheri in his Spicilegium, t. 3, p. 299. Five others arc St. Hilary's, who v/as contem- 
porary with St. Zeno, and four are a free translation from St. Basil's, probably made by Rutin of 

80 s. JULIUS, p. [April 12. 


He was a Roman, and chosen pope on the 6th of February, in 337. The 
Arian bishops in the East sent to hira three deputies to accuse St. 
Athanasius, the zealous patriarch of Alexandria. These informations, as 
the order of justice required, Julius imparted to Athanasius, who thereupon 
sent his deputies to Rome ; when, upon an impartial hearing, the advocates 
of the heretics were confounded, and silenced, upon every article ^fjv'deu: 
accusation. The Arians then demanded a council, and the pope assembled 
one in Rome, in 341, at which appeared St. Athanasius, MarcelluQ,pf An- 
cvra, and other orthodox prelates, who entreated the pope that he would cite 
their adversaries to appear. Julius accordingly sent them an order to repair 
to Rome within a limited time. They, instead of obeying, held a pretended 
council at Antioch, in 341, in which they presumed to appoint one ^ropory, 
an impious Arian, bishop of Alexandria, detained the pope's legates bp'-o4d: 
the time mentioned for their appearance ; and then wrote to his holiness, 
alleging a pretended impossibility of their appearing, on accowit of the Per- 
sian war and other impediments. The pope easily saw through these pre- 
tences, and, in a council at Rome, examined the cause of St. Athanasius, 
declared him innocent of the things laid to his charge by the Arians, and 
confirmed him in his see. He also acquitted Marcellus of Ancyra, upon 
his orthodox profession of faith. " Julius, by virtue of the prerogative of 
his see, sent the bishops into the East, with letters full of vigor, restoring to 
each of them his see," says Socrates.^ " For, because the care of all be- 
longed to him, by the dignity of his see, he restored to every one his church," 
as Sozomen writes.^ He drew up and sent by count Gabian, to the Orien- 
tal Eusebian bishops, who had first deftended a council, and then refused 
to appear in it, an excellent letter, which Tillemont calls one of the finest 
monuments of ecclesiastical antiquity. In it we admire an extraordinary 
genius, and solid judgment, but far more an apostolic vigor and fesolution, 
tempered with charity and meekness. " If," says he, " they (Athanasius 
and Marcellus) had been guilty, ye should have written to us all, that judg- 
ment might have been given by all : for they were bishops and churches 
that suffered, and these not common churches, but the same that the apostles 
themselves had governed. Why did they not write to us especially con- 
cerning the church of Alexandria ? Are you ignorant, that it is the custom 
to write to us immediately, and that the decision ought to come from hence ? 
In case therefore that the bishop of that see lay under any suspicions, ye 
ought to have written to our church. But now, without having sent us any 
information on the subject, and having acted just as ye thought proper, ye 
require of us to approve your measures, without sending us any account of 
the reasons of your proceedings. These are not the ordinances of Paul, 
this is not the tradition of our fathers ; this is an vinprecedented sort of con- 
duct. I declare to you what we have learned from the blessed apostle Pe- 
ter, and I believe it so well known to everybody, that I should not have 
mentioned it, had not this happened."^ Finding the Eusebians still obsti- 
nate, he moved Constans, emperor of the West, to demand the concurrence 
of his brother Constantius in the assembling of a general council at Sardica, 
in lllyricum. This was opened in May, 347,* and was a general synod, as 

1 Socr. b. 2, c. 15. 2 Soz. b. 3, c. 7 ; Fleury, 1. 12, Hist. n. 20, t. 3, p. 310. 

3 See this letter inserted entire by St. Atlianasius in his Apology, p. 141. 

* See Mansi in Siippl. Concil. t. 1, where he shows, in a particular Dissertation, that the council of Sar- 
dica was not held in 347, as most modern historians imagine, but in 344, and rectifies the history ol U Irow 
three letters which he first published. 

April 13.] 



Baronius and Natalis Alexander demonstrate ; but is joined as an appendix 
to the council of Nice, because it only confirmed its decrees of faith. This 
council declared St. Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra orthodox and in- 
nocent, deposed certain Arian bishops, and framed twenty-one canons of 
discipline. The first of these forbids the translation of bishops ; for, if fre- 
quently made, it opens a door to let ambition and covetousness into the 
sanctuary, of which Eusebius of Nicomedia was a scandalous instance. 
The third, fourth, and seventh agree, that any bishop deposed by a synod in 
his province, has a right to appeal to the bishop of Rome. St. Julius sat 
fifteen years, two months, and six days, dying on the 12th of April, 352. 
See St. Athanasius, Hist. Arianorum ad IMonachos, t. 1, p. 349, et Apolog. 
contra Arianos, pp. 142, 199 ; Tillemont, t. 7, p. 278 ; Fleury, t. 3 ; Ceil- 
li'ii, i.rA, p. 484. See also the letter of Julius to Prosdocius, with remarks ; 
<fe,nrl hn letter^to the church of Alexandria, with the notes of Muratori, Sic, 
in the second tome of the new complete edition of the Councils, printed at 
Ve-.r-e in 1759. 


This city was a populous resort of the Romans ; on which account it was 
watered with the blood of many martyrs in the persecution of Dioclesian. 
The names only of SS. Victor, Sylvester, Cucufas, Susana, and Torquatus, 
have reached us. Their triumphs are honored in that church, and recorded 
by Vasseus in his chronicle, and other Spanish historians. St. Victor, who 
is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on the 12th of April, was a cate- 
chumen, who, refusing to sacrifice to idols, was condemned to lose his head, 
and baptized in his own blood. See F. Thomas ab Incarnatione. Hist. 
Portug. Ssec. 4, c. 6, p. 218. . 



From St. Gregory the Great, Dial. b. 3, c. 31. St. Gregory of Tours. Hist. b. 5. c. 33, and h. 0, c. 16. Mari- 
ana, Hist. b. 5, c. 1'3. Flores, Esiiana Sagraila, t. 5, c. 2, p. 200. Hensclienius, t. 2, Aiir. p. 134. 

A. D. 586. 

Levigild, or Leovigild, the Goth,* king of Spain, had two sons by his 
first wife, Theodosia, namely, Hermenegild and Recared. These he edu- 
cated in the Arian heres}^, which he himself professed, but married Her- 
menegild, the eldest, to Ingondes, a zealous Catholic, and daughter to Sige- 
bert, king of Austrasia, in France. The grandees had hitherto disposed of 
their crown by election, but Levigild, to secure it to his posterity, associated 
his two sons with him in his sovereignty, and allotted to each a portion of 
his dominions to inure them to government, and Seville fell to the lot of the 
eldest. Ingondes had much to suffer from Gosvint, a bigoted Arian, whom 

* This name in original Gothic inamiscripts is constantly written Liuvigild, as Flores observes. He be- 
gan his reign in tlie year of our Lord 568, of the Spanish a?ra COO, and pnt S. Hermenegild to death in the 
eighteenth year of iiis reign, as is clear from an old chronicle published by Flores, Espana Sagrada, t. 2, 
p. 199. 

VOL. 11. 




[April 13. 

Levigild had married after tlie death of Theodosia ; but, in spite of all her 
cruel treatment, she adhered strictly to the Catholic faith. And such was 
the force of her example, and of the instructions and exhortations of St. 
Leander, bishop of Seville, that the prince became a convert ; and, taking 
the opportunity of his father's absence, abjured his heresy, and vpas received 
into the church by the imposition of hands, and the unction of chrism on the 
forehead. Levigild, who vi^as already exasperated against his son, upon the 
first appearance of his change, being now informed of his open profession 
of the Catholic faith, in a transport of rage divested him of the title of king, 
and resolved to deprive him of his possessions, his princess, and even his 
life, unless he returned to his former sentiments. Hermenegild, looking 
upon himself as a sovereign prince, resolved to stand upon his defence, and 
was supported by all the Catholics in Spain ; but they were by much too weak 
to defend him against the Arians. The prince therefore sent St. Leander 
to Constantinople, to solicit Tiberius for succors. But he dying soon after, 
and his successor, Maurice, being obliged to employ all his forces to defend 
his own dominions against the Persians, who had made many irruptions 
into the imperial territories, no succors were to be obtained. Hermenegild 
implored next the assistance of the Roman generals, who were with a small 
army in that part of Spain, on the coast of the Mediterranean, of which the 
empire of Constantinople still retained possession. They engaged them- 
selves by oath to protect him, and received his wife Ingondes and infant son 
for hostages ; but, being corrupted by Levigild's money, they basely betrayed 
him. Levigild held his son besieged in Seville above a year, till Hermene- 
gild, no longer able to defend himself in his capital, lied secretly to join the 
Roman camp ; but being informed of their treachery, he went to Cordova, 
and thence to Osseto, a very strong place, in which there was a church, 
held in particular veneration over all Spain. He shut himself up in this 
fortress with three hundred chosen men ; but the place was taken and burnt 
by Levigild. The prince sought a refuge in a church at the foot of the al- 
tar ; and the Arian king, not presuming to violate that sacred place, permit- 
ted his second son, Recared, then an Arian, to go to him, and to promise 
him pardon, in case he submitted himself and asked forgiveness. Hermene- 
gild believed his father sincere, and going out threw himself at his feet. 
Levigild embraced him, and renewed his fair promises, with a thousand ca- 
resses, till he had got him into his own camp. He then ordered him to be 
stripped of his royal robes, loaded with chains, and conducted prisoner to 
the tower of Seville, in 586, when the saint had reigned two years, as F. 
Flores proves from one of his coins, and other monuments. 

There he again employed all manner of threats and promises to draw him 
back to his heresy, and hoping to overcome his constancy, caused him to be 
confined in a most frightful dungeon, and treated with all sorts of cruelty. 
Tlie martyr repeated always what he had before written to his father : " I 
confess your goodness to me has been extreme. I will preserve to ray dy- 
ing breath the respect, duty, and tenderness which I owe you ; but is it pos- 
sible that you should desire me to prefer worldly greatness to my salvation ? 
I value ihe crown as nothing ; I am ready to lose sceptre and life too, rather 
than abandon the divine truth." The prison was to him a school of virtue. 
He clothed himself in sackcloth, and added other voluntary austerities to 
the hardships of his confinement, and, with fervent prayers, begged of God 
to vouchsafe him the strength and assistance which was necessary to sup- 
port him in his combat for the truth. The solemnity of Easter being come, 
the perfidious father sent to him an Arian bishop in the night, offering to 
take him into favor, if he received the communion from the hand of that 
prelate, but Hermenegild rejected the proposal with indignation, reproaching 

April 13.] 



the messenger with the impiety of his sect, as if he had been at full liberty. 
The bishop returning to the Arian king with this account, the furious father, 
seeing the faith of his son proof against all his endeavors to pervert him, 
sent soldiers out of hand to dispatch him. They entered the prison, and 
found the saint fearless and ready to receive the stroke of death, which 
they instantly inflicted on him, cleaving his head with an axe, whereby his 
brains were scattered on the floor. St. Gregory the Great attributes to the 
merits of this martyr the conversion of his brother, king Recared, and of the 
whole kingdom of the Visigoths in Spain. Levigild was stung with remorse 
for his crime, and though by God's secret but just judgment he was not him- 
self converted, yet on his death-bed he recommended his son Recared to St. 
Leander, desiring him to instruct him in the same manner as he had done 
his brother Hermenegild, that is, to make him a Catholic. This saint re- 
ceived the crown of martyrdom on Easter Eve, the 13th of April. His 
body remains at Seville. St. Gregory of Tours observes, that whatever 
guilt this holy king and martyr incurred by taking up arms against his father, 
this at least was expiated by his heroic virtue and death. Before St. Her- 
menegild declared himself a Catholic, the persecution was raised with great 
violence against the Goths, who embraced the orthodox faith of the Trinity, 
and many lost their goods, many were banished, and several died of hunger, 
or by violence. St. Gregory of Tours ascribes not only the death of St. 
Hermenegild, but also this whole persecution, chiefly to the instigation of 

Si. Hermenegild began then to be truly a king, says St. Gregory the Great, 
when he became a martyr. From his first conversion to the true faith, it 
was his main study to square his life by the most holy maxim.s of the gos- 
pel. Yet, perhaps, while he lived amidst the hurry, flatteries, and pomp of 
a throne, his virtue was for some time imperfect, and his heart was not per- 
fectly crucified to the world. But humiliations and sufferings for Christ, 
which the saint bore with the heroic courage, the fidelity, and perfect char- 
ity of the martyrs, entirely broke all secret ties of his affections to the earth, 
and rendered him already a martyr in the disposition of his soul, before he 
attained to that glorious crou'n. Christ founded all the glory of his human- 
ity and that of his spiritual kingdom, the salvation of the universe, and all 
the other great designs of his sacred incarnation, upon the meanness of his 
poor and abject life, and his ignominious sufferings and death. This same 
conduct he held in his apostles and all his saints. Their highest exaltation 
in his grace and glory was built upon their most profound humility, and the 
most perfect crucifixion of their hearts to the world and themselves ; the 
foundation of which was most frequently laid by the greatest exterior as well 
as interior humiliations. How sweet, how glorious were the advantages of 
which, by this means, they became possessed, even in this life ! God ma- 
king their souls his kingdom, and by his grace and holy charity reigning 
sovereignly in all their affections. Thoit, hast made us a kingdom to our God, 
and we shall reign, say all pious souls to Christ, penetrated with gratitude 
for his inexpressible mercy and goodness, with esteem for his grace and love 
alone, and with a contempt of all earthly things. They are truly kings, de- 
pending on God alone, being in all things, with inexpressible joy, subject to 
him only, and to all creatures, purely for his sake ; enjoying a perfect liber- 
ty, despising equally the frowns and the flatteries of the world, ever united 
to God. The riches of this interior kingdom, which they possess in Christ, 
are incomprehensible, as St. Paul assures us. They consist in his grace, 
light, science of divine things, true wisdom, and sublime sentiments of his 
love and all virtues. In this kingdom, souls are so replenished with the ful- 



[April 13. 

ness of God, as St. Paul expresses it, that they can desire no other goods. 
This is to be truly rich. Joy and pleasure are possessed in this kingdom. 
The solid delight, sweetness, comfort, and peace, which a soul relishes in 
it, surpass all the heart can desire, or the understanding conceive. Lastly, 
all worldly splendor is less than a dream or shadow, if compared to the dig- 
nity, glory, and honor of this happy state. Thus was St. Hermenegild a 
great king in his chains. We also are invited to the same kingdom. 


By his prayers and counsels, he was many years the support both of the 
church and state, among the Scots, in the ninth century, in the reign of 
Kenneth II., &c. The Aberdeen breviary and Henschenius place him un- 
der king Enos. He died about the year 838. See Major, 1. 2, c. 14. Cam- 
erarius in Menologio Scotico, King, &c. 


He was a Welsh nobleman, native of Brecknockshire, who after he had 
received a liberal education, enjoyed the confidence of Rees, or Resus, 
prince of South-Wales, and held an honorable place in his court. The prince 
one day, on account of two greyhounds which were lost, fell into such a fury 
against Caradoc as to threaten his life. Caradoc, from this disgrace and check, 
learned the inconstancy and uncertainty of worldly honors, and the best found- 
ed hopes, and resolved to dedicate himself altogether to the service of the 
King of kings, whose promises can never fail, and whose rewards are eter- 
nal. Upon the spot he made the sacrifice of himself to God, by a vow of 
perpetual continency, and of embracing a religious life. Repairing to Lan- 
daff, he received from the bishop the clerical tonsure, and for some time 
served God in the church of St. Theliau. Being desirous of finding a closer 
solitude, he afterwards spent some years in a little hut, which he built him- 
self, near an abandoned church of St. Kined, in the country in which he 
made his prayer. The reputation of his sanctity filled the whole country, 
and the archbishop of jNIenevia, or St. David's, calling him to that town, pro- 
moted him to priestly orders. The saint hence retired, with certain devout 
companions, to the isle of Ary. Certain pirates from Norway, who often 
infested these coasts, carried them oft" prisoners, but, fearing the judgments 
of God, safely set them on shore again the next day. However, the arch- 
bishop of Menevia assigned the saint another habitation in the monastery of 
St. Hismael, commonly called Ysam, in the country of Ross, or Pembroke- 
shire. Henry I., king of England, having subdued the southern Welsh, sent 
a colony of Flemings into the country of Ross, who drove the old Britons 
out of their possessions. The saint and his monastery suffered m.uch from 
the oppressions of these new inhabitants, especially of Richard Tankard, a 
powerlul Englishman among them. This nobleman was, after some time, 
struck by God with a dangerous illness, and having recourse to St. Caradoc, 
was, by his prayers, restored to his health. From this time the saint and 
his monastery found him a benefactor and protector. St. Caradoc died on 
Low-Sunday, the 13th of April, in the year 1121, and was buried with great 
honor in the church of St. David's. We are assured that his tomb was il- 
lustrated by miracles, and his body was found whole and incorrupt several 
years after, when it was translated with great solemnity. See his life, writ- 


April 14.] 



ten by Giraldus Cambrensis, the famous bishop of St. David's, near his time, 
extant in Capgrave : also William of Malmesbury, &c. 



See the acts of St. Cecily, and the remarks of Henschenius, ad 14 Aprilis, t. 2, pp. 203, 220. 

A. D. 229. 

These holy martyrs have always been held in singular veneration in the 
church, as appears from the ancient calendar of Fronto, the sacramentary 
of St. Gregory, St. Jerom's Martyrology, that of Thomasius, &c. Valerian 
was espoused to St. Cecily, and converted by her to the faith ; and with her 
he became the instrument of the conversion of his brother Tiburtius. Max- 
imus, the officer appointed to attend their execution, was brought to the 
faith by the example of their piety, and received with them the crown of 
martyrdom, in the year 229. The theatre of their triumph seems to have 
been Rome, though some have imagined they suffered in Sicily. They 
were interred in the burying-place of Prsetextatus, which, from them, took 
the name of Tiburtius. It was contiguous to that of Calixtus. In that place 
pope Gregory III. repaired their monument in 740; and Adrian I. bulk a 
church under their patronage. But pope Paschal translated the remains of 
these martyrs, of St. Cecily, and the popes SS. Urban and Lucius, into the 
city, where the celebrated church of St. Cecily stands. These relics were 
found in it in 1599, and visited by the order of Clement VIII., and approved 
genuine by the cardinals Baronius and Sfondrate. The Greeks vie with the 
Latins in their devotion to these martyrs. 

Most agreeable to the holy angels was this pious family, converted to 
God by the zeal and example of St. Cecily, who frequently assembled to 
sing together, with heavenly purity and fervor, the divine praises. We shall 
also draw upon ourselves the protection, constant favor, and tender attention 
of the heavenly spirits, if we faithfully imitate the same angelical exercise. 
Mortification, temperance, humility, meekness, purity of mind and body, con- 
tinual sighs toward heaven, prayer, accompanied with tears and vehement 
heavenly desires, disengagement of the heart from the world, a pure and as- 
siduous attention to God and to his holy will, and a perfect union by the 
most sincere fraternal charity, are virtues and exercises infinitely pleasing 
to them. The angels of peace are infinitely delighted to see the same per- 
fect intelligence and union, which makes an essential part of their bliss in 
heaven, reign among us on earth, and that we have all but one heart and 
one soul. Happy are those holy souls which have renounced the world, in 
order more perfectly to form in their hearts the spirit of these virtues, in 
which they cease not, 'day and night, to attend to the divine praises, and 
consecrate themselves to Jesus Christ, by employing their whole life in this 
divine exercise. Their profession is a prelude to, or rather a kind of antici- 
pation of, the bliss of heaven. The state of the blessed indeed surpasses it 
in certain high privileges and advantages. First, They praise God with far 
greater love and esteem, because they see and know him much more clearly, 




[April 14. 

and as he is in himself. Secondly, They praise him with more joy, because 
they possess him fully. Thirdly, Their praises have neither end nor inter- 
ruption. Yet our present state has also its advantages. First. If our praises 
are mingled with tears, compuuction, watchfulness, and conflicts, they merit 
a continual immense increase of grace, love, and bliss for eternity. Second- 
ly, Our praises cost labor, difficulty, and pain : they are a purgatory of love; 
those of the blessed the reward and the sovereign bliss. Thirdly, We praise 
God in a place where he is little loved and little known : we celebrate his 
glory in an enemy's country, amidst the contradiction of sinners. This 
obliges us to acquit ourselves of this duty with the utmost fidelity and fervor. 
A second motive to excite us to assiduity in this exercise is, that it associ- 
ates us already to the angels and saints, and makes the earth a paradise : it 
is also, next to the sacraments, the most powerful means of our sanctification 
and salvation. With what delight do the holy angels attend and join us in 
it! With what awe and fervor, with what purity of heart, ardent love, and 
profound sentiments of humility, adoration, and all virtues, ought we in such 
holy invisible company to perform this most sacred action ! We should go 
to it penetrated with fear and respect, as if we were admitted into the sanc- 
tuary of heaven itself, and mingled in its glorious choirs. We ought to be- 
have at it as if we were in paradise, with the utmost modesty, in silence, 
annihilating ourselves in profound adoration with the seraphim, and pro- 
nouncing every word with interior sentiment and relish. From prayer we 
must come as if we were just descended from heaven, with an earnest de- 
sire of speedily returning thither, bearing God in our souls, all animated and 
inflamed by him, and preserving that spirit of devotion with which his pres- 
ence filled us at prayer. 



In the persecution of Decius, in 251, they were apprehended and brought 
before Valerius, governor of Lesser Asia, who resided sometimes at Thya- 
tira, sometimes at Sardis. The martyrs suffered much in dungeons in both 
those cities, and underwent three severe examinations ; in the third, to in- 
timidate the masters, Agathodorus was, in their presence, scourged to death 
with bull's sinews. When the proconsul went to Pergamus, which city 
was the birthplace both of the bishop and his deacon, the two saints were 
dragged thither, and first the bishop, then the deacon, was beaten with 
knotty clubs, their sides burnt with torches, and the wounds rubbed over with 
salt. Some days after they were laid on iron spikes, their sides were again 
torn, and at length both were consumed by the flames, together with Aga- 
thonice, a sister of Papylus. See their acts, quoted by Eusebius, b. 4, c. 
15 ; Tillemont, t. 3, p. 346. 


They were three noblemen of Lithuania, and the twp first brothers, com- 
monly called in that country, Kukley, Mihley, and Nizilo. They were all 
three chamberlains to Olgerd, the great duke of Lithuania, who governed 
that country from the year 1329 to 1381,' and was father of the famous Ja- 
gello. They also attended on the great duchess, and were worshippers of 

1 See the history of his reign, by Albertus Wijuk Kojalowicz, Hist, Lithuan. 1. 8. 

April 14.] 



fire, according to the idolatrous superstition of that country, till they had the 
happiness to be converted to the Christian faith, and baptized by a priest 
called Nestorius. For refusing to eat forbidden meats on fast-days, they 
were cast into prison, and, after many trials, put to death by order of Olgerd, 
the great duke ; John, the eldest of them, on the 24lh of April, his brother 
Antony on the 14th of June, Eustachius, who was then young, on the 13th 
of December. This last had suffered many other torments before his execu- 
tion, having been beaten with clubs, had his legs broken, and the hair and 
skin of his head violently torn off, because he would not suffer his hair to be 
shaved, according to the custom of the heathens. They suffered at Vilna, 
about the year 1342, and were buried in the church of the Holy Trinity, of 
the Russian-Greek rite, united in communion to the Roman Catholic church. 
Their bodies still remain in that church, which is served by Basilian monks ; 
but their heads were translated to the cathedral. The great oak tree on 
which they were hanged had long been the usual place of execution of male- 
factors ; but, after their martyrdom, the Christians obtained a grant of it from 
the prince, and built a church upon the spot. These martyrs were ordered to 
be honored among the saints by Alexius, patriarch of Kiow, of the Catholic 
communion. Their feast is kept at Vilna on the 14th of April, and they are 
regarded as the particular patrons of that city. vSee Kulcinius, in Specim. p. 
12, and Albertus Wijuk Kojalowicz, in his Miscellanea rerum ad statum 
Eccles. in magno Lithuanins Ducatu pertinentium. Henschenius, t. 2, Apr. 
p. 265. Jos. Assemani, in Kalend. Univ. t. 6, p. 254, ad 14 Apr. 



He kept his mother's sheep in the country, being devoted to the practices 
of piety beyond his age ; when, moved by charity to save the lives of many 
poor persons, who were frequently drowned in passing the Rhone, and be- 
ing inspired by God, he undertook to build a bridge over that rapid river at 
Avignon. He obtained the approbation of the bishop, proved his mission by 
miracles, and began the work in 1177, which he directed during seven 
years. He died when the difficulty of the undertaking was over, in 1184. 
This is attested by public monuments drawn up at that time, and still pre- 
served at Avignon, where the story is in everybody's mouth. His body 
was buried upon the bridge itself, which was not completely finished till 
four years after his decease, the structure whereof was attended with mira- 
cles, from the first laying the foundations till it was completed in 1188. 
Other miracles, wrought after this at his tomb, induced the city to build a 
chapel upon the bridge, in which his body lay near five hundred years : but, 
in 1669, a great part of the bridge falling down, through the impetuosity of 
the waters, the coffin was taken up, and being opened, in 1670, in presence 
of the grand vicar, during the vacancy of the archiepiscopal see, it was 
found entire, without the least sign of corruption ; even the bowels were 
perfectly sound, and the color of the eyes lively and sprightly, though, 
through the dampness of the situation, the iron bars about it were much 
damaged with rust. The body was found in the same condition by the arch- 
bishop of Avignon, in 1674, when, accompanied by the bishop of Orange, 
and a great concourse of nobility, he performed the translation of it, with 
great pomp, into the church of the Celestines, (a house of royal foundation,) 
who had obtained of Louis XIV. the honor to be intrusted with the custody 
of his relics, till such time as the bridge and chapel should be rebuilt. See 

88 B. LIDWINA, V, [xipRIL 14. 

the description of this pompous translation in the Bollandists, April, t. 2, pp. 
958, 959, and Papebroke's remarks on his life, p. 255. 


Was born at Schiedham, or Squidam, in Holland, near the mouth of the 
Meuse, in 1380. From seven years of age, she conceived an extraordinary 
devotion to the Blessed Virgin ; and, Avhen she was sent abroad by her mo- 
ther on an errand, would go to the church to salute the Mother of God, by a 
Hail Mary, before her image there. At twelve years of age she made a 
vow of virginity. At fifteen, amusing herself with skating with her com- 
panions, according to the custom of that country, she fell on rough broken 
pieces of ice, and broke a rib. From this hurt, accompanied with an in- 
ward bruise, and from a great imposthume which was formed in the womb, 
she suffered extremely, taking very little nourishment, and struggling night 
and day under great pains. An ulcer also consumed her lungs, and she 
sometimes vomited up great quantities of purulent matter. She had also 
three exterior ulcers, besides a complication of other distempers from the in- 
ward bruises, which brought on a dropsy, under which she labored nineteen 
years ; for the last seven years, she was not able to stir herself in bed, nor 
even to move any part of her body, except her head and left arm. When 
moved by others, she was bound v/ith cloths to keep the parts of her body 
together, so much was it torn and emaciated. She lived a considerable time 
almost v/ithout either nourishment or sleep, and had many sores on her face, 
legs, and other parts, like scorbutic inflammations and ulcers. For the thir- 
ty last years of her life, she never quitted her bed. The three or four first 
years other sickness she was obliged to use violence, and to make continual 
eftbrts to maintain her soul constantly in the perfect sentiments of patience 
and resignation. After this term, by the advice of her confessarius, the de- 
vout John Pot, she employed herself continually in meditating on our vSa- 
viour's sacred passion, which she divided into seven parts, to correspond to 
the seven canonical hours of prayer ; in which she occupied herself day and 
night. By this practice and meditation, she soon found all her bitterness 
and affliction converted into sweetness and consolation, and her soul so 
much changed, that she prayed God would rather increase her pains, to- 
gether with her patience, than suffer them to abate. She was even ingeni- 
ous, by private mortifications, to add to her sufferings, in which she found a 
hidden manna. She lay on a poor straw bed, like a true sister of the suf- 
fering Lazarus, yet would strive to make it more uneasy to her under her 
other pains. Whatever was given her in alms, above the little which serv- 
ed for her own support, she distributed among the poor, not suffering any of 
her family, though indigent, to partake of it. After the death of her pious 
parents, she gave to the poor all the goods they bequeathed to her. Before 
she had, by constantly meditating on our Lord's passion, by assiduous pray- 
er and self-denial, acquired a love and relish of the cross, patience was more 
difficult to her, and less perfect : but when filled with the Spirit of Christ, 
she found a comfort in her pains, and it appeared how God had, in his tender 
mercy, visited heronlytopurifyher heart to himself, and to fill it with his graces. 
She spoke of God with such unction, that her words softened and converted har- 
dened sinners. Her patience was recompensed a hundredfold in this world by 
the extraordinary spiritual consolations with which she was often favored, 
and by the grace of the Holy Ghost, accompanied with a wonderful gift of 
miracles, and many divine revelations. She sometimes had trials of spirit- 
ual dryness, but these served only more perfectly to purify her soul, and 

April 15.] 



prepare her for sweeter visits of her heavenly Comforter. The holy sacra- 
ment of the eucharist was, above all other means, her principal strength, 
comfort, and happiness on earth ; it renewed in her breast the burning flame 
of divine love, and nourished in her a continual source of tears and compunc- 
tion. Her humility made her desire nothing so much as obscurity, and to be 
unknown and contemned by all men. After a severe martyrdom of thirty- 
eight years, in painful sickness, she was called to a crown of glory on 
Easter-Tuesday, the 14th of April, 1433, being fifty-three years old. God 
honored her by miracles, to some of which Thomas a Kempis was an eye- 
witness. The chapel in which her body lay, in a marble tomb, in the parish 
church of Schiedham, begun to bear her name in 1434 ; and her father's 
house, in which she died, was, after her death, converted into a monastery 
of Gray Sisters, of the third order of St. Francis. The Calvinists demol- 
ished the above-mentioned chapel ; but changed the monastery into a hospi- 
tal for orphans. Her relics soon after were conveyed to Brussels, and en- 
shrined in the collegiate church of St. Gudula. The infanta Isabella pro- 
cured a partition of them to be made, and placed one moiety in the church 
of the Carmelite nuns, of which she was the foundress. She was never 
beatified ; but a mass on the B. Trinity was sung in her chapel at Schied- 
ham on her festival, with a panegyric on the holy virgin. See her life com- 
piled by John Gerlac, her cousin, and John Walter, her confessor : and by 
John Brugman, provincial of the Franciscans, who were all personally ac- 
quainted with her. Also from her life, abridged by Thomas a Kempis. 
See Papebroke the BoUandist, 14th April, t. 2, p. 287 ; Molanus, &c. 




From Bzovius ad an. 1246 ; the monuments collected by the BoUandists on the 14th of April, t. 2, p. 389. 

See F. Touron, Homnies lUustr. t 1, p. 49. 

A. D. 1246. 

The best historians place the birth of St. Peter Gonzales, in Latin 
Gonsalvus, in the year 1190, at Astorga, in the kingdom of Leon, in Spain, 
where he was descended of an illustrious family. His wonderful progress 
in his studies showed him endov/ed with an extraordinary quickness of 
parts, and he embraced an ecclesiastical stale, though at that time a stranger 
to the spirit of disengagement and humility which ought essentially to accom- 
pany it. His uncle, the bishop of Astorga, charmed with his capacity, pre- 
ferred him to a canonry, and shortly after to the deanery of his chapter. 
The young dean, free indeed from vice, but full of the spirit of the world, 
took possession of his dignity with great pomp, but in the midst of his pride, 
happened, by a false step of his prancing horse, to fall into a sink. This 
was the moment in which God was pleased to strike his heart. This hu- 
miliation made tire young gentleman enter into himself, and with remorse to 
condemn his own vanity, and fondness of applause, which deserved a much 
worse disgrace. Opening his heart to these sentiments of grace, without 
taking advice from flesh and blood, he retired to Palencia, to learn the will 

VOL. II.- 



of God in solitude, fasting, and prayer. To fight against pride and self-love, 
he labored strenuously to put off the old man by mortification and humility, 
and became quickly a new man in Christ, recollected, penitent, meek, and 
humble. The better to secure his victory over the world and himself, he 
entered the austere order of St. Dominick. The world pursued him into his 
retreat. Its wise men left no stone unturned to make him return to his dig- 
nity : but he was guided «by better lights, and bafiled all their suggestions. 
Having made his vows, and strengthened his soul in the spirit of humility 
and penance, by the exercises of holy retirement and obedience, he was 
ordered by his superiors to employ his talents in the ministry of the divine 
word, to which he consecrated the remainder of his life, to the great advan- 
tage of innumerable souls. After he had passed the best part of the night 
in holy meditations, or in singing the praises of God, he spent the whole 
day in instructing the faithful : his words, always animated with a burning 
charity, and supported by example, produced in his hearers the perfect sen- 
timents with which he endeavored to inspire them. The greatest libertines 
melted into tears at his sermons, and cast themselves at his feet in a spirit 
of compunction and penance. The number of conversions which God 
wrought by his ministry in the kingdom of Leon and Castile, especially in 
the diocese of Palencia, made king Ferdinand III., though always taken up 
in his wars with the Saracens, desirous to see him ; and so much was he 
taken with the man of God, that he would have him always near his person, 
both in the court and in the field. He would have him always be present at 
his discourses, whether made to the generals, courtiers, or soldiers ; and the 
holy man, by his prayers and exhortations, reformed the corrupt manners 
both of the troops and court. His example gave the greatest weight to his 
words ; for he lived in the court as he would have done in a cloister, with 
the same austerities, the same recollection, the same practices of humility, 
and other virtues. Yet some slaves of pleasure hardened themselves against 
his zeal, and occasioned him many sufferings. A courtesan was told by 
some of the nobility, that, if she heard Gonzales preach, she would change 
her life. She impudently answered : " If I had the liberty to speak to him 
in private, he could no more resist ray charms than so many others." 
The lords, out of a malicious curiosity, promised her a great sum if she 
could draw him into sin. She went to the saint, and. that she might speak 
to him alone, said she wanted to consult him on a secret affair of importance. 
When others were gone out, she fell on her knees, and, shedding forced 
tears, pretended she desired to change her life, and began to make a sham 
confession to him of her sins, but had nothing else in view than to insnare 
the servant of God, and at last, throwing off all disguise, said all that the 
devil prompted her in order to seduce him. But her artifices only served to 
make his triumph the more glorious. Stepping into another room, where 
there was a fire, and wrapping himself in his cloak, he threw himself upon 
the burning coals, and then called upon her to come, and see where he 
waited for her. She, amazed to see him not burn, cast herself on the 
ground, confessing her crimes aloud, and suddenly became a true penitent, 
as they did also who had employed her. The saint accompanied Ferdinand, 
king of Leon and Castile, in all his expeditions against the Moors, particu- 
larly in the siege and taking of Cordova, in 1236, which, from the year 718, 
had ever been the chief seat of the Moorish dominions'in Spain. Gonzales 
had a great share in the conquests and temporal advantages of this prince, 
by his prudent counsels and prayers, and by the good order which he pre- 
vailed with the officers and soldiers to observe. The conquest of Cordova 
opened a new field to the zeal of Gonzales. He moderated the ardor of the 
conquerors, saved the honor of the virgins and the lives of many enemies, 

April 15.] s. peter gonzales, c. 91 

and purified the mosques, converting them into churches : in all which he 
was seconded by king Ferdinand III., surnamed the Saint. The great mosque 
of Cordova, the most famous of all Spain, became the cathedral church : and 
whereas the Moors, when they conquered Compostella, two hundred and 
sixty years before, had carried away the bells and ornaments on the backs 
of Christians, and placed them in this mosque, king Ferdinand compelled the 
infidels to carry them back themselves in the same manner to Compostella. 
Gonzales burned with so ardent a desire to preach the great truths of our 
holy religion to the poor and the peasants, that no entreaties or solicitations 
could retain him any longer at court. Galicia, and the rest of the coast, 
were the chief theatres of his pious labors the latter years of his life. 
Neither mountains, nor places of the most difficult access in Asttiria, and 
other parts, nor the ignorance and brutality of the people, could daunt his 
courage. Under these fatigues, prayer was his refreshment. He appeared 
everywhere as a new apostle. But the success of his ministry was the 
most surprishig in the diocese of Compostella and Tuy, in which also he 
wrought many miracles. At Bayona in Galicia, the number of his auditors 
having obliged him to preach in a great plain, in the open fields, and a vio- 
lent storm arising with wind, thunder, and lightning, his whole audience be- 
gan to be very uneasy, and thought to prevent the worst by flying. The holy 
preacher prevailed upon them to stay, and by prayer appeased the tempest. 
All places round about them were deluged ; but not a drop fell on the audi- 
tory. The saint had a particular zeal to instruct the poor in the country, 
and the sailors, whom he sought on their vessels, and among whom he fin- 
ished' his mortal course. He foretold his death on Palm-Sunday, and desiring 
to die in the arms of his brethren at Compostella, set out from Tuy thither, 
but, growing worse on the road, returned to the former place on foot ; so 
unwilling was he to remit any thing in his penitential life. Luke, the fa- 
mous bishop of Tuy, his great admirer and friend, attended him to his last 
breath ; buried him honorably in his cathedral, and in his last will gave 
directions for his own body to be laid near the remains of this servant of 
God. They are now exposed to public A^eneration, in the same church, in a 
magnificent silver shrine, and have been honored with many miracles. 
Some place his death on the 15th, and others on the 14th of April, in 1246. 
Pope Innocent IV. beatified him eight years after, in 1254, and granted an 
olhce to his order in Spain, which was extended to the city of Tuy, though 
he has not been solemnly canonized. Pope Benedict XIV. approved his 
office for the whole Order of St. Dominick. The Spanish and Portuguese 
mariners invoke his intercession in storms, and by it have often received 
sensible marks of the divine succor. They call him corruptly St. Telm, or 
Elmo, which Papebroke and Baillet derive originally from St. Erasmus, who 
was implored, anciently, as a patron by sailors, in the Mediterranean. 

If we look into the lives of all holy preachers and pastors, especially 
that of our Divine model, the Prince of pastors and Saint of saints, we 
shall find that the essential spirit of this state is that of interior recollection 
and devotion, by which the soul is constantly united to God. This is only 
learned by an apprenticeship of retirement, and is founded in rooted habits 
of humility, compunction, and prayer. Great learning is indeed necessary 
for the discharge of the pastoral duties ; but this, and all exterior talents, 
must be directed and made spiritual by the interior spirit and intention, or 
they will be pernicious to the pastor, if not also to those whom he ought to 
direct. For fear of the dangers and abuse of human qualifications, some 
hai^e chose in some measure to despise them, hoping thus more securely to 
find God in solitude, penance, and contemplation. This cannot be allowed 



[April 15. 

to those who are destined to share in pastoral functions. But for such to 
place any confidence in human industry or abilities, would be still a far more 
fatal disorder. It is from true interior charity, zeal, compunction, devotion, 
and humility, that they must derive all their power, and be made instrumen- 
tal in promoting the divine honor, and the sanctification of souls. The pas- 
tor must be interiorly filled with the spirit of God and his pure love, that 
this holy disposition may animate aU he says or does exteriorly. To enter- 
tain this interior spirit, self-denial, humility, perfect obedience, a contempt 
of the world, assiduous prayer, and constant recollection, must be his per- 
petual study. Those clergymen who pass their lives in dissipation, and 
whose thoughts and hearts are always wandering abroad, are undoubtedly 
strangers to the essential spirit of their state. 


These two noble women were disciples of the apostles SS. Peter and 
Paul at Rome, and were beheaded by the order of Nero, as the Roman and 
Greek Martyrologies testify. 



He was born at Poitiers, about the year 482. His father, Patranus, with 
the consent of his wife, went into Ireland, where he ended his days in holy 
solitude. Paternus, fired by his example, embraced young a monastic life 
in the abbey of Ansion, called, in succeeding ages, Marnes, and at present, 
from the name of a holy abbot of that house, St. Jovin des Marnes, in the 
diocese of Poitiers. After some time, burning with a desire of attaining 
to the perfection of Christian virtue, he passed over to Wales, and in Cardi- 
ganshire founded a monastery called Llan-patern-vaur, or the church of the 
great Paternus. He made a visit to his father in Ireland : but being called 
back to his monastery of Ansion, he soon after retired with St. Scubilion, a 
monk of that house, and embraced an austere anchoretical life in the forest 
of Scicy, in the diocese of Coutances, near the sea, having first obtained 
leave of the bishop and of the lord of the place. This desert, which was 
theft of a great extent, but has been since gradually gained upon by the sea, 
Avas anciently in great request among the Druids. St. Pair converted to 
the faith the idolaters of that and many neighboring parts, as far as Bayeux, 
and prevailed with them to demolish a pagan temple in this desert, which 
was held in great veneration by the ancient Gauls. St. Senier, called in 
Latin Senator, St. Gaud, and St. Aroastes, holy priests, were his fellow her- 
mits in this wilderness, and his fellow-laborers in these missions. St. Pair, 
in his old age, was consecrated bishop of Avranches by Germanus, bishop 
of Rouen. The church of Avranches was exceedingly propagated in the 
reign of Clovis or his children, by St. Severus, the second bishop of the 
see, who built the famous abbey which still bears his name, in the diocese 
of Coutances, and is honored at Rouen on the 1st of February, at Avran- 
ches on the 7th of July. St. Pair governed his diocese thirteen years, and 
died about the year 550, on the same day with St. Scubilion. Both were 
buried in the same monument, in the oratory of Scicy, now the parish church 
of St. Pair, a village much frequented by pilgrims, near Granville, on the 
seacoast. In the same oratory was interred St. Senator, or Senier, the sue- 

April 16.] 



cessor of St. Pair in the see of Avranches, who died in 563, and is honor- 
ed on the 18th of September. The church* is still enriched with the 
greatest part of these relics, and those of St. Gaud, except those of St. Sev- 
erus and St. Senier, which have been translated to the cathedral at Rouen, 
and portions of St. Senier's are at St. Magloire's and St. Victor's at Paris. 
St. Pair is titular saint of a great number of churches in those parts. See 
his life in Mabillon, saec. 2, Ben. p. 1103; Gallia Christ. Nova, t. 11, p. 
471 ; Fleury, 1. 33, t. 7. The abridgment of his life by Rouault, curate 
of St. Pair's, printed in 1734, stands in need of a critical hand. 


Several churches bear the name of this saint in Argyleshire in Scot- 
land, in which he was formerly honored as principal patron, and which he 
edified by the shining light of his example, and by his zealous preaching, 
in the tenth century. He governed there a great monastery, founded sever- 
al others in that province, and left behind him many great models of Chris- 
tian perfection. His excellent maxims, relating to the most tender and 
universal fraternal charity, meekness, the love of silence and retiredness, 
and a constant attention to the divine presence, were handed down to pos- 
terity as sacred oracles. St. Munde died in a happy old age, in 962. See 
King, Hunter the Dominican, De Viris lUustr. Scotiae, &c. 


This saint was born in the western part of Leinster. Having built the 
monastery of Lothraen, he assembled in it one hundred and fifty fervent 
monks, with whom he divided his time between the exercises of prayer 
and manual labor, which he also sanctified by prayer. He was advanced to 
the episcopal dignity, and was called one of the twelve apostles of Ireland. 
He died in 584. See the Register of Kilkenny, and Colgan, in MSS. 




From Pradentius de Cor. hymn. 4. 

See VasEEUS Eelga in Chron. Hisp. Breviarium Eborense a Eesendio 
recognitum, an. ISfiS 

A. D. 304. 

St. Optatus, and seventeen other holy men,f received the crown of mar- 
tyrdom on the same day, at Saragossa, under the cruel governor Dacian, in 

* Near this oratory stood the ancient monastery of Scicy, which Richard I., duke of Normandy, united 
to that of St. Michael on Mount Tunilia, which he founded in OGfi, upon the spot where before stood a col- 
legiate church of canons, built in 709, by St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches. It is called St. Michael's on 
the Tomb, or at the Tombs, because two mountains are called Toml)S, from their resemblance to the rising 
or covering of graves. On one of tliese, three hundred feet high, which the tide maltes an island at high 
water, stands this famous monastery, enriched with many precious relics, and resorted to by a great num- 
ber of pilgrims. See a curious description of this place in Doni. Beaunier's Recueil general des Eveches, 
Abbayes, &c., p. 725, t. 2. 

t Their names, according to Prudentius, are : Optatus, Lupercus, Martial, Successus, Urban, Quintilian, 
Julius, Puljlius, Fronto, Felix, Cecilianus, Evotius, Primitivus, Apodemus, and four others of the name 



[April 16. 

the persecution of Dioclesian, in 804. Two others, Caius and Crementius, 
died of their torments after a second conflict, as Prudentius relates. 

^he same venerable author describes, in no less elegant verse, the tri- 
umph of St. Encratis, or Engratia, virgin. She was a native of Portugal. 
Her father had promised her in marriage to a man of quality in Rousillon ; 
but, fearing the dangers, and despising the vanities of the world, and resolv- 
ing to preserve her virginity, in order to appear more agreeable to her heav- 
enly spouse, and serve him without hinderance, she fled privately to Sara- 
gossa, where the persecution was hottest, under the eyes of Dacian. She 
even reproached him with his barbarities, upon which he ordered her to be 
long tormented in the most inhuman manner : her sides were torn with iron 
hooks, and one of her breasts was cut off, so that the inner parts of her 
chest were exposed to view, and part of her liver pulled out. In this con- 
dition she was sent back to prison, being still alive, and died by the morti- 
fying of her wounds, in 304. The relics of all these martyrs were found 
at Saragossa in 1389. Prudentius recommended himself to their interces- 
sion, and exhorts the city, through their prayers, to implore the pardon of 
their sins, with him, that they might follow them to glory.* 

The martyrs, by a singular happiness and grace, were made perfect holo- 
causts of divine love. Every Christian must offer himself a perpetual sacri- 
fice to God, and by an active submission to his will, a constant fidelity to his 
law, and a total consecration of all his affections, devote to him all the fac- 
ulties of his soul and body, all the motions of his heart, all the actions and 
moments of his life, and this vi'ith the most ardent, unabated love, and the 
most vehement desire of being altogether his. Can we consider that our 
most amiable and loving God, after having conferred upon us numberless 
other benefits, has, with infinite love, given us himself, by becoming man, 
making himself a bleeding victim for our redemption, and in the holy 
eucharist remaining always with us, to be our constant sacrifice of adoration 
and propitiation, and to be our spiritual I'ood, comfort, and strength; lastly, 
by being the eternal spouse of our souls 1 Can we, I say, consider that our 
infinite God has so many ways, out of love, made himself all ours, and not 
be transported with admiration and love, and cry out with inexpressible 
ardor : My hcloved is mine, and I am his. Yes, I will irom this moment 
dedicate myself entirely to him. Why am not I ready to die of grief and 
compunction that I ever lived one moment not wholly to him ! Oh ! my soul, 
base, mean, sinful, and unworthy as thou art, the return which by thy love 
and sacrifice thou makest to thy infinite God, bears no proportion, and is on 
innumerable other titles a debt, and thy sovereign exaltation and happiness. 
It is an etfect of his boundless mercy that he accepts thy oblation, and so 
earnestly sues for it by bidding thee give him thy heart. Set at least no 
bounds to the ardor with which thou makest it the only desire of thy heart, 
and thy only endeavor to be wholly his, by faithfully corresponding to his 
grace, and by making thy heart an altar on which thou never ceasest to of- 
fer all thy affections and powers to him, and to his greater glory, and to be- 
come a pure victim to burn and be entirely consumed with the fire of divine 
love. In union with the divine victim, the spotless lamb, who offers him- 
self on our altars and in heaven for us, our sacrifice, however unworthy and 
imperiect, will find acceptance ; but for it to be presented with, and by, 

* Hebc sub altari sita sempiterno 
Lapsibus nostris veniain preciitur 

Sterne te totam, generosa Sanctis 
Civitas mecuni tumulis : deinde 

Mox resurgentes animas et artu3 , 

Tola sequeris. Hymn. 4. 

April 16.] s. druon, r. 95 

what is so holy, what is sanctity itself, with what purity, with what fervor 
ought it to be made ! 


A ZEALOUS maintainer of ecclesiastical discipline, and defender of the 
faith against the Priscillianist heresy in Spain ; in which his endeavors 
were seconded by St. Leo the Great, as appears by his letter to St. Turi- 
bius.' His predecessor, Dictinius, had the misfortune to fall into the heresy 
of the Priscillianists ; but was never deposed, as Quesnel mistakes. His 
death happened about the year 420, as is clear from St. Austin.^ St. Turi- 
bius died about the year 460, and is named in the Roman Martyrology on 
this day. See Baronius, Gerves, and Cacciari, Exercitat. in Op. S. Leon. 
Diss. 2, de Haeresi Priscill. c. 13, 14, p. 250, &c. 


He was a prince of the royal blood of the Visigoth kings in Spain ; but, 
from his youth, desired to consecrate his life to the divine service in a holy 
retreat beyond the reach of that whirlpool of business, faction, pleasure, 
and sin, called the world. After the death of his parents, he found himself 
at large, and at full liberty to dispose of him.self according to his desire. 
He therefore procured himself to be instructed in the sacred sciences, in 
the great school which the bishop of Palencia had established for the edu- 
cation of his clergy. He sold the greatest part of his estate, and bestowed 
the whole price upon the poor, and with the rest founded several monas- 
teries, especially a great one on his estate upon the mountains near Vierzo, 
under the title of SS. Justin and Pastor, martyrs of Complutum, or Alcala; 
whence he called this abbey Complutum. He put on the monastic habit, 
and governed this house as abbot till he saw it settled in good order. He 
then appointed another abbot, and retired into a wilderness, where he led a 
most austere life, clothed with the skins of beasts, in imitation of the an- 
cient hermits. lie afterwards founded several other monasteries, and a 
great nunnery called None, because nine miles from the sea. We have 
two monastic rules compiled by him, the one called Of Complutum, the 
other the common rule. He was consecrated bishop of Duma, near Braga, 
and, in 656, archbishop of Braga. His innocence and virtue were no 
security from the shafts of envy ; but he overcame injuries by meekness 
and patience : and died laid on ashes before ihe altar, as he desired, on 
the 16th of April, 665. His body now rests at Compostella. See his life 
written by a contemporary author in Mabillon, sscc. 2 ; Ben. Bulteau, Hist. 
de rOrdre de St. Benoit. t. 1, and Henschenius, Apr. t. 2, p. 430. 



He was nobly born, at Epinoy in Flanders, but his father died before his 
birth, and his mother in childbed. From his infancy, he was remarkable 

1 St. Leo, ep. 15, ad Turibium Asturicenseni, p. 62, t. 2, ed. Rom. and a letter of St. Tuvibius, ib. 
p. 73. 

2 St. Aug. 1, Contra Mendacium ad Consentium, c. 3, t. 0. See Frnncisci GervesiiDiss. de Priscillianistis, 
p. 65 ; Cacciari, Exercit. in S. Leonem, Diss. 2, de Priscill. c. 8, pp. 234, 235. 



[April 16. 

for piety and devotion, and at twenty years of age distributed his money 
and goods among the poor, and renounced his estates in favor of the next 
heirs, that he might be at liberty to serve Christ in poverty and penance. 
Being thus disengaged from the world, clad in a ragged, poor garment, over 
a hair-shirt, he set out, like Abraham, leaving his friends and country, and, 
after having visited several holy places, hired himself shepherd to a virtuous 
lady, named Elizabeth de la Haire, at Sebourg, two leagues from Valen- 
ciennes. The retirement and abjection of this state were most agreeable 
to him, on account of the opportunities with which they furnished him of 
perpetual prayer, and the exercises of penance and humility. Happy 
would servants be, did they consider and make use of the great advantages 
to virtue which Providence puts into their hands, by daily opportunities of 
most heroic acts of obedience, self-denial, humility, patience, meekness, 
penance, and all other virtues. The saints thought they purchased such 
opportunities cheap at any rate ; yet many lose them, nay, by sloth, im- 
patience, avarice, or other vices, pervert them into occasions of sin. Six 
years Druon kept sheep, in great obscurity, and as the last among the 
menial servants ; but his humility, modesty, meekness, charity, and eminent 
spirit of devotion and prayer, in spite of his disguise, gained him the esteem 
and affection of everybody, particularly of his mistress. Many made him 
presents : but these he bestowed on the poor, with whatever he could 
privately retrench from himself. To fly the danger of applause, at length 
he left his place, and visited Rome nine times, and often many other places 
of devotion ; making these pilgrimages not journeys of sloth, curiosity, and 
dissipation, but exercises of uninterrupted prayer and penance. He re- 
turned from time to time to Sebourg ; where, when a rupture put an end to 
his pilgrimages, he at length pitched his tent for the remainder of his life. 
He built himself a narrow cell against the wall of the church, that he 
micrht at all times adore God as it were at the foot of his altars. Here he 
Jived a recluse for the space of forty-five years, his food being barley-bread 
made with a lie of ashes, and his drink warm water. To disguise this part 
of his mortifications, he called this diet a medicine for his distemper. In 
this voluntary prison he lived in assiduous prayer and manual labor to the 
eighty-fourth year of his age, dying in 1186, on the 16th of April, on which 
day his name occurs in the Roman Martyrology. His relics remain in 
the church of St. Martin at Sebourg. See his life in Papebroke, p. 441 ; 
Mireeus, &c. 



He vv^as a native of Sienna, of the noble family of Pelacani. No sooner 
had he attained to the use of reason, than he discovered a happy inclina- 
tion to piety. He seemed to have sucked in with his mother's milk a sin- 
gular devotion to the Blessed Virgin ; and it was his greatest pleasure in 
his childhood to pray before her image or altar, and to repeat often, and in 
all places, the angelical salutation, Ave Maria. His charity for the poor 
was not less extraordinary than his devotion. He stripped himself to clothe 
and relieve them : whatever was give a him for his pocket he bestowed in 
alms. JNIoreover, he never ceased to solicit his parents in favor of the 
distressed. His father one day checked him, and told him that prudence 
ought to set bounds to his liberality, or he would reduce his whole family to 
poverty. The compassionate youth modestly replied : " You have taught 

April 16.] s. mans, b, m. 97 

me that an alms is given to Jesus Christ, in the persons of the poor : can 
we refuse him any thing? And what is the advantage of riches, but that 
they be employed in purchasing treasures in heaven ?" The father wept 
for joy to hear such generous sentiments of virtue from one of so tender an 
age, and so dear to him. He sometimes caught his little son at his devo- 
tions at midnight, for which he secretly rose from his bed while others 
slept. The saint, at fourteen years of age, received the religious habit 
from the hands of St. Philip Beniti, in 1272, and, out of devotion to the 
mother of God, took the name of Joachim. Such was his fervor, from the 
first day he entered the convent, that the most advanced looked upon hini 
as a perfect model. All virtues were in him most conspicuous ; but none 
more admirable than the spirit of prayer, and an extraordinary humility and 
love of abjection. He strenuously resisted the utmost endeavors that could 
be used to promote him to the priesthood : which dignity he always looked 
upon with trembling. To serve at mass was the height of his ambition : 
and he often assisted at that adorable sacrifice in raptures of devotion. The 
meanest and most painful offices and drudgery of the house were his great 
delight : for true humility is never more pleased than in humiliations and 
obscurity, as pride finds its pleasure in public and great actions, which 
attract the eyes of others. The whole life of this saint seemed a con- 
tinual study to conceal himself from men, and to lie hid from the world : 
but the toore he fled the esteem of others, the more it followed him. Seeing 
himself too much respected and honored at Sienna, he earnestly entreated 
his general to remove him to some remote house of the order, where he 
hoped to remain unknown. Arezzo Avas allotted him : but as soon as his 
departure was known, the whole city of Sienna was in a tumult, till, to 
appease the people, he was recalled into his own country, of which he con- 
tinued to his death the glory, and, by his prayers and example, the support 
and comfort. God honored him with miracles both before and after his 
death, which happened on the 16th of April, in the year 1305, of his age 
the forty-seventh. The popes Paul V. and Urban VIII. granted to his 
order the license of celebrating his festival with an office. See his life 
written by Attavanti, a priest of the same order at Florence : also Giani's 
Annals, &c. 


In the reign of Duncan, king of Scotland, an army of savage pagan 
Norwegians, under Hacon, ravaged the isles of Orkney. To stop the 
butchery of the inhabitants. Mans, the zealous bishop, met the barbarians, 
and when they threatened him with death, boldly replied : " I am ready to 
die a thousand times over for the cause of God and his flock : but in his 
name I command you to spare his people." Commending his soul to his 
Redeemer, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, St. Palladius, and 
St. Servanus, patron of that diocese, he presented his head to be struck off" 
by the executioner. Pie suff'ered in the year 1104, in the isle of Egiis, one 
of the Orcades, and was buried in the same. His tomb became famous 
for the reputation of miracles, and the devotion of pilgrims. See Hunter, 
de Viris lUustr. Scotiae ; Lesley, Descr. Scot. p. 40; King; the ancient 
hymn in his honor, &c. 

VOL. II. — 13 

98 S. ANICETUS, P. M. [ApRIL 17. 



See Eusebius, b. 5, c. 24. Tillemont, t. 2, p. 4^ 

He succeeded St. Pius in the latter part of the reign of Antoninus Pius, 
sat about eight years, from 165 to 173, and is styled a martyr in the Roman 
and other Martyrologies : if he did not shed his blood for the faith, he at 
least purchased the title of martyr by great sufferings and dangers. He re- 
ceived a visit from St. Polycarp, and tolerated the custom of the Asiatics in 
celebrating Easter on the 14th day of the first moon after the vernal equinox, 
with the Jews. His vigilance protected his flock from the wiles of the 
heretics, Valentine and Marcion, instruments whom the devil sent to Rome, 
seeking to corrupt the faith in the capital of the world. Marcion, in Pon- 
tus, after having embraced a state of continency, fell into a crime with a 
young virgin : for which he was excommunicated by the bishop, who was 
his own father. He came to Rome, in hopes to be there received into the 
communion of the church, but was rejected, till he had made satisfaction, 
by penance, to his own bishop. Upon which he commenced heresiarch, as 
Tertullian and St. Epiphanius relate. He professed himself a Stoic philoso- 
pher, and 'seems to have been a priest. Joining the heresiarch Cerdo, who 
was come out of Syria to Rome, in the time of pope Hyginus, he established 
two gods, or first principles, the one, the author of all good ; the other, of 
all evil : also of the Jewish law, and of the Old Testament : which he main- 
tained to be contrary to the New. Tertullian informs us' that he repented, 
and was promised at Rome to be again received into the church, on condi- 
tion that he brought back all those souls which he had perverted. This be 
was laboring to effect when he died, though some understand this circum- 
stance of his master Cerdo. He left many unhappy followers of his errors 
at Rome, in Egj^pt, Palestine, Syria, Persia, and Cyprus.* 

The thirty-six first bishops of Rome, down to Liberius, and, this one ex- 
cepted, all the popes to Symmachus, the fifty-second, in 498, are honored 
among the saints ; and out of two hundred and forty-eight popes, from St. 
Peter to Clement XIII., seventy-eight are named in the Roman Martyrology. 
In the primitive ages, the spirit of fervor and perfect sanctity, which is now- 
a-days so rarely to be found in the very sanctuaries of virtue, and in the 
world seems in most places scarce so much as known, was conspicuous in 
most of the faithful, and especially in their pastors. The whole tenor of 
their lives, both in retirement and in their public actions, breathed it in such 
a manner as to render them the miracles of the world, angels on earth, liv- 
ing copies of their divine Redeemer, the odor of whose virtues and holy law 
and religion they spread on every side. Indeed, what could be more amia- 
ble, Avhat more admirable, than the perfect simplicity, candor, and sincerity; 
the profound humility, invincible patience and meekness ; the tender charity, 

1 Prascr. c. 30. 

* The liberality of pope Clement YIII. in giving the body of St. Anicetiis, found in the Catacombs, to 
the domestic chapel of the prince of Altemps at Kome, itiduced John Angelo, prince of Altemps, to write 
his Vita Aniceti, Papce et Martyris. 

April 17.] s. Stephen, a. c. 99 

even toward their enemies and persecutors ; the piety, compunction, and 
heavenly zeal, Mrhich animated all their words and their whole conduct, and 
which, by fervent exercise under sufferings and persecutions, were carried 
to the most heroic degree of perfection ? By often repeating in our prayers 
sacred protestations of our love of God, we easily impose upon ourselves, 
and fancy that his love reigns in our affections. But by relapsing so fre- 
quently into impatience, vanity, pride, or other sins, we give the lie to our- 
selves. For it is impossible for the will to fall so easily and so suddenly 
from the sovereign degree of sincere love. If, after making the most solemn 
protestations of inviolable friendship and affection for a fellow-creature, we 
should have no sooner turned our backs, but should revile and contemn him, 
without having received any provocation or affront from him, and this ha- 
bitually, would not the whole world justly call our protestations hypocrisy, 
and our pretended friendship a mockery ? Let us by this rule judge if our 
love of God be sovereign, so long as our inconstancy betrays the insincerity 
of our hearts. 


From the Exordium of Citeaux : the Annsls of that Order by Manriquez : the short ancient Life of St. Ste- 
phen, published liy Henriquez in his Fasciculus, printed at Brussels in 1024, and by Henschenius, 17 
Apr. t. 2, p. 497; also from the Little Exordium of Citeaux, and the Exordium Magnum Cisterc. both in 
the first tome of Teissier's Bibliotheca Patrum Cisterc. See De Visch's Bibliotbeca Cisterciensis, or 
Histiiry of the VV^riters of this Order, in 4to. printed in 165(5. Le Nain, Hist, de I'Ordre de Citeaux, t. 1, 
. Stephens, Monast. Anglic, t. 2 ; Britannia Sancta. and Hist. Litteraire de la France, t. 11, p. 213. 

A. D. 1134. 

St. Stephen Harding was an Englishman of an honorable family, and 
heir to a plentiful estate. He had his education in the monastery of Sher- 
bourne, in Dorsetshire, and there laid a very solid foundation of literature 
and sincere piety. A cheerfulness in his countenance always showed the 
inward joy of his soul, and a calm which no passions seemed ever to dis- 
turb. Out of a desire of learning more perfectly the means of Christian per- 
fection, he, with one devout companion, travelled into Scotland, and after- 
wards to Paris, and to Rome. They every day recited together the whole 
psalter, and passed the rest of their time on the road in strict silence, occu- 
pied in holy meditation and private prayer. Stephen, in his return, heard 
at Lyons of the great austerity and sanctity of the poor Benedictin monas- 
tery of Molesme, lately founded by St. Robert, in 1075, in the diocese of 
Langres. Charmed with the perpetual recollection and humility of this 
house, he made choice of it to accomplish there the sacrifice of himself to 
God. Such was the extreme poverty of this place, that the monks, for want 
of bread, were often obliged to live on the wild herbs of the wilderness. 
The compassion and veneration of the neighborhood at length supplied their 
wants to profusion : but, with plenty and riches, a spirit of relaxation and 
self-love crept in, and drew many aside from their duly. St. Robert, Albe- 
ric his prior, and Stephen, seeing the evil too obstinate to admit a cure, left 
the house ; but upon the complaint of the monks, were called back again ; 
Robert, by an order of the pope, the other two by the diocesan. Stephen 
was then made superior. The monks had promised a reformation of their 
sloth and irregularities ; but their hearts not being changed, they soon re- 
lapsed. They would keep more clothes than the rule allowed ; did not 
work so long as it prescribed, and did not prostrate to strangers, nor wash 
their feet when they came to their house. St. Stephen made frequent re- 
monstrances to them on the subject of their remissness. He was sensible 
that as the public tranquillity and safety of the state depend on the ready 
observance and strict execution of the laws, so much more do the perfection 


[April 17. 

and sanctification of a religious state consist in the most scrupulous fidelity 
in complying with all its rules. These are the pillars of the structure : he 
who shakes and undermines them throws down the whole edifice, and roots 
up the very foundations. Moreover, in the service of God, nothing is small : 
true love is faithful, and never contemns or wilfully fails in the least circum- 
stance or duty, in which the will of God is pointed out. Gerson observes, 
how difficult a matter it is to restore the spirit of discipline when it is once 
decayed, and that, of the two, it is more easy to found a new order. From 
whence arises his just remark, how grievous the scandal and crime must be 
of those who, by their example and tepidity, first open a gap to the least 
habitual irregularity in a religious order or house. 

Seeing no hopes of a sufficient reformation, St. Robert appointed another 
abbot at Molesme, and with B. Alberic, St. Stephen, and other fervent 
monks, they being twenty-one in number, with the permission of Hugh, 
archbishop of Lyons, and legate of the holy see, retired to Citeaux, a marshy 
wilderness, five leagues from Dijon. The viscount of Beaune gave them 
the ground, and Eudes, afterwards duke of Burgundy, built them a little 
church, which was dedicated under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin, as 
all the churches of this order from that time have been. The monks with 
their own hands cut down trees, and built themselves a monastery of 
wood, and in it made a new profession of the rule of St. Bennet, which they 
bound themselves to observe in its utmost severity. This solemn act they 
performed on St. Bennet's day, 1098: which is regarded as the date of the 
Cistercian order. After a year and some months St. Robert was recalled 
to Molesme, and B. Alberic chosen the second abbot of Citeaux. These 
holy men, with their rigorous silence, recollection, and humility, appeared 
to strangers, by their very countenances, as angels on earth, particularly to 
two legates of pope Paschal II., who, paying them a visit, could not be sati- 
ated with fixing their eyes on their laces ; which, though emaciated with 
extreme austerities, breathed an amiable peace and inward joy, with a 
heavenly air resulting from their assiduous humble conversation with God, 
by which they seemed transformed into citizens of heaven. Alberic ob- 
tained from Paschal II. the confirmation of his order, in 1100, and compiled 
several statutes to enforce the strict observance of the rule of Saint Bennet, 
according to the letter. Hugh, duke of Burgundy, after a reign of three 
years, becoming a monk at Cluni, resigned his principality to his brother 
Eudes, who was the founder of Citeaux, and who, charmed with the virtue 
of these monks, came to live in their neighborhood, and lies buried in their 
church with several of his successors. He was great-grandson to Robert, 
the first duke of Burgundy, son to Robert, king of France, and brother to 
king Henry I. The second son of duke Eudes, named Henry, made his 
religious profession under B. Alberic, and died holily at Citeaux. B. Albe- 
ric finished his course on sackcloth and ashes, on the 26th of January, 1109, 
and St. Stephen was chosen the third abbot.* The order seemed then in 
great danger of failing : it was the astonishment of the universe, but had 
appeared so austere, that hitherto scarce any had the courage to embrace 
that institute. St. Stephen, who had been the greatest assistant to his two 
predecessors in the foundation, carried its rule to the highest perfection, 
and propagated the order exceedingly, so as to be regarded as the principal 
among its founders, as Le Nain observes. 

It was his first care to secure, by the best fences, the essential spirit of 
solitude and poverty. For this purpose, the frequent visits of strangers 
were prevented, and only the duke of Burgundy permitted to enter. He 

* B. Alberic is honored with an office on the 26th of January, by the Cistercian order In Italy, by a grant 
of the Congregation of Sacred Rites. See Bened. XIV. de Canon. 1. 1, c. 13, n. 17, p. 100. 

April 17.] 


also was entreated not to keep his court in the monastery on holydays, as 
he had been accustomed to do. Gold and silver crosses were banished out 
of the church, and a cross of painted wood, and iron candlesticks were made 
use of: no gold chalices were allowed, but only silver gilt; the vestments, 
stoles, and maniples, &c., were made of common cloth and fringes, without 
gold or silver. The intention of this rule was, that every object might serve 
to entertain the spirit of poverty in this austere order. The founder, with 
this holy view, would have poverty to reign even in the church, where yet 
he required the utmost neatness and decency, by which this plainness and 
simplicity appeared with a majesty well becoming religion and the house of 
God. If riches are to be displayed, this is to be done in the first place to 
the honor of Him who bestowed them, as God himself was pleased to show 
in the temple built by king Solomon. Upon this consideration, the monks 
of Cluni used rich ornaments in the service of the church. But a very con- 
trary spirit moved some of that family afterwards to censure this rule of the 
Cistercians, which St. Bernard justified by his apology. Let not him that 
eateth, despise him that eateth not.' And many saints have thought a neat 
simplicity and plainness, even in their churches, more suitable to that spirit 
of extraordinary austerity and poverty which they professed. The Cister- 
cian monks allotted several hours in the day to manual labor, copying books, 
or sacred studies. St. Stephen, who was a most learned man, wrote in 1109, 
being assisted by his fellow monks, a very correct copy of the Latin Bible, 
which he made for the use of the monks, having collated it with innumerable 
manuscripts, and consulted many learned Jews on the Hebrew text.* But 
God was pleased to visit him with trials, that his virtue might be approved 
when put to the test. The duke of Burgundy and his court were much of- 
fended at being shut out of the monastery, and withdrew their charities and 
protection : by which means the monks, who were not able totally to sub- 
sist by their labor, in their barren woods and swampy ground, were reduced 
to extreme want : in which pressing necessity St. Stephen went out to beg a 
little bread from door to door : yet refused to receive any from a simoniacal 
priest. For though this order allows not begging abroad, as contrary to its 
essential retirement, such a case of extreme necessity must be excepted, as 
Le Nain observes. The saint and his holy monks rejoiced in this their pov- 
erty, and in the hardships and suff"erings which they felt under it ; but were 
comforted by frequent sensible marks of the divine protection. This trial was 
succeeded by another. In the two years 1111 and 1112, sickness swept 
away the greater part of this small community. St. Stephen feared he 
should leave no successors to inherit, not worldly riches, but his poverty 
and penance ; and many presumed to infer that their institute was too se- 
vere, and not agreeable to heaven. St. Stephen, with many tears, recom- 
mended to God his little flock, and after repeated assurances of his protec- 
tion, had the consolation to receive at once into his community, St. Bernard, 
with thirty gentlemen ; whose example was followed by many others. St. 
Stephen then founded other monasteries, which he peopled with his nxxnks ; 
as La Ferte, in the diocese of Challons, in 1113 ; Pontigni, near Auxerre, 
in 1114; Clairvaux, in 1115, for several friends of St. Bernard, who was ap- 
pointed the first abbot; and Morimond, in the diocese of Langres. St. Ste- 
phen held the first general chapter in 1116. Cardinal Guy, archbishop of 
Vienne, legate of the holy see, in 1117, made a visit to Citeaux, carried St. 
Stephen to his diocese, and founded there, in a valley, the abbey of Bonne- 

• Rom. xiv. 3, 6. 

* This most valuable MS. copy of the Bible is preserved at Citeaux, in four volumes in folio. Man- 
riquez in his Annals, and Henriquez in his Fasciculus, give us a short pathetic discourse on the death of 
B. Alberic, ascribed by many to St. Stephen, and not unworthy his pen. 


102 S. STEPHEN, A. C. [ApRIL 17. 

vaux. He was afterwards pope, under the name of Calixtus II., and dying 
in 1124, ordered his heart to be carried to Citeaux, and put into the hands 
of St. Stephen. It lies behind the high altar, in the old church. St. Ste- 
phen lived to found himself thirteen abbeys, and to see above a hundred 
founded by monks of his order under his direction. In order to maintain 
strict discipline and perfect charity, he established frequent visitations to be 
made of every monastery, and instituted general chapters. The annalist of 
this order thinks he was the first author of general chapters ; nor do we find 
any mention of them before his time. The assemblies of abbots, sometimes 
made in the reigns of Charlemagne and Louis le Debonnaire, &c., were kinds 
of extraordinary synods ; not regular chapters. St. Stephen held the first 
general chapter of his order in 1116; the second in 1119. In this latter he 
published several statutes called the Charte of Charity, confirmed the same 
year by Calixtus II.* He caused afterwards a collection of sacred ceremo- 
nies and customs to be drawn up, under the name of the Usages of Citeaux, 
and a short history of the beginning of the order to be written, called the Ex- 
ordium of Citeaux. The holy founder made a journey into Flanders in 
1125 ; in which he visited the abbey of St. Vast, at Arras, where he was 
received by the abbot Henry and his community, as if he had been an an- 
gel from heaven ; and the most sacred league of spiritual friendship was 
made between them, of which several monuments are preserved in the li- 
brary of Citeaux, described by Mabillon. In 1128, he and St. Bernard as- 
sisted at the council of Troyes, being summoned to it by the bishop of Al- 
bano, legate of the apostolic see. In 1132, St. Stephen waited on pope In- 
nocent II., who was come into France. The bishop of Paris, the archbishop 
of Sens, and other prelates, besought the mediation of St. Stephen with the 
king of France and with the pope, in affairs of the greatest importance. The 
Cistercian monks came over also into England in the time of St. Stephen. 
The extreme austerity and sanctity of the professors of this order, which did 
not admit any relaxation in its discipline for two hundred years after its in- 
stitution, were a subject of astonishment and edification to the whole world, 
as is described at large by Oderic Vitalis, St. Peter, abbot of Cluni, Wil- 
liam of St. Thierry, William of Malmesbury, Peter, abbot of Celies, Stephen, 

* St Robert, in the foundation of Citeaux, proposed to himself, and prescribed to his companions, noth- 
jnc else but the reformation of tlie order of St. Beiinet, and tlie observance of his rule to the letter, as 
Benedict XIV. takes notice, (de Canoniz. 1. 1, c. 13, n. 17, p. 101.) nor did the legate grant hiin leave for 
his removal and new establishment with any other view or on any other condition. (Exordium Magn. 1. 1, 
c 12, Hist. Lit, Fr. t. 11, p. 225.) St. Stephen in the Charte, or Charter of Chanty, prescribes the rule of 
St Sennet to be observed to the letter, in all his monasteries, as it was kept at Citeaux, (c. 1.) It is or- 
da'ined that the abbot of Citeaux shall visit all the monasteries of the order, as the superior of the abbots 
themselves and shall take proper measures with the abbot of each liouse tor the retormation of all abuses, 
(c 4 ) Upon this rule the grand Conseil at Paris decreed, in the year 17G1, that the abbot of Citeaux could 
not establish in the four first abbeys of the order, and their filiations or dependencies, the reformation 
which he attempted, without the free consent of the four abbots of those houses. St. Stephen orders other 
abbots to perform every year the visitation of all the houses subject to them, (c. 8.) And appoints the 
four first abbots of the order, viz., of La Fert6, Pontigni, Clairvaux, and Morimund, to visit every year, in 
person the abbey of Citeaux, (c. 8,) and to take care of its administration upon the death of an abbot, and 
assemble the abbots of the filiations of Citeaux, and some others, to choose a new abbot, (c. 19.) If any 
abbot busies himself too much in temporal affairs, or falls into any other irregularity, he is to be accused, 
to confess his fault, and be punished in the next general chapter, (c. 19.) If any abbot commits or allows 
anv transgression against the rule, he is to be reprimanded by the abbot of Citeaux, and if obstinate, to be 
deposed by him (c. 23,) and in like manner the abbot of Citeaux by the four first abbots, (c. 27, 28, 29, 30.) 
The Usages of Citeaux, Liber Usuum. were compiled about the same time, and according to Bale, Pits, 
Possevin and Seguin by St. Stephen ; though Brito, Pritero, and Henriquez are of opinion they were com- 
pleted by St Bernard' In it all the regular observances of Citeaux are committed to writing in five parts, 
which comp'rise one hundred and eighty chapters. B. Alberic had before published certain regulations for 
this order in 1101 assisted principally by St. Stephen, who was at that time prior under the abbot Alberic. 
The Usages were approved by the holy see, at or about the same time with the Charte of Charity, and 
were probably published in the same general chapter. At least they are mentioned among the acts of the 
general chapters compiled by Rainaid, the fourth abbot of Citeaux, in 1134. These have always made the 
code of this order : the best editioa is that in the NoDiasticon Cisterciense, published at Pans in 16C4, by 

The Exordium Parvum, or Short History of the Origin of Citeaux, was composed by St. Stephen's order, 
by some of his first companions. This most edifying golden book, as it is justly called by the annalist of 
the order is inserted by F.Teissier, in the Bibliotheca Patrum Cisterciensium, which he published in three 
volumes in folio, in 16G0. We have in the same place the Exordium Magnum Cisterciense, or larger his- 
tory of the beginning of this order, compiled near one hundred years later, in the thirteenth century. 

April 17.] 



bishop of Tournay, cardinal James of Vitry, pope Innocent III,, &c., who 
mention, with amazement, their rigorous silence, their abstinence from flesh- 
meat, and, for the most part, from fish, eggs, milk, and cheese ; their lying 
on straw, long watchings from midnight till morning, and austere fasts ; their 
bread as hard as the earth itself; their hard labor in cultivating desert lands 
to produce the pulse and herbs on which they subsisted ; their piety, devo- 
tion, and tears, in singing the divine office ; the cheerfulness of their counte- 
nances breathing a holy joy in pale and mortified faces ; the poverty of 
their houses ; the lowliness of their buildings, &c. 

The saint having assembled the chapter of his order in 1133, when all 
the other business was dispatched, alleging his great age, infirmities, and in- 
capacity, begged most earnestly to be discharged from his oflice of general, 
that he might in holy solitude have leisure to prepare himself to appear at 
the judgment-seat of Christ. All were afflicted, but durst not oppose his 
desire. The chapter chose one Guy ; but the saint discovering him un- 
worthy of such a charge, in a few days he was deposed, and Raynard, a 
holy disciple of St. Bernard, created general. St. Stephen did not long 
survive the election of Raynard. Twenty neighboring abbots of his order 
assembled at Citeaux, to attend at his death. While he was in his agony, 
he heard many whispering that, after so virtuous and penitential a life, he 
could have nothing to fear in dying : at this he said to them, trembling : "I 
assure you that I go to God in fear and trembling. If my baseness should be 
found to have ever done any good, even in this I fear, lest I should not have 
preserved that grace with the humility and care I ought." He passed to 
immortal glory on the 28th of March, 1134, and was interred in the tomb of 
B. Alberic, in which also many of his successors lie buried, in the cloister, 
near the door of the church.* His order keeps his festival on the 15th of 
July, as of the first class, with an octave, and with greater solemnity than 
those of St. Robert or St. Bernard, having always looked upon him as the 
principal of its founders. The Roman Martyrology honors him on the 17th 
of April, supposed to be the day on which he was canonized, of which men- 
tion is made by Benedict XIV.^ 



From their genuine acts, published by Assemani, Acta Mart. Orient. 1 1, p. 1 ; Sozom. b. 2, c. 8, 9, 10, &c. 

A. D. 341. 

This holy primate of the church of Persia, was its most illustrious 
champion in the great persecution of Sapor II., surnamed the longlived.f 
The haughtiness of this prince appears from his letter to Constantine the 

2 De Canoniz. 1. 1, c. 13, n. 17, 1. 1, p. 100. 

* A description of this saint's tomb, and of those of several dukes of Burgundy, and other great and holy 
men interred in this church, is given in Descript. Historiques des principaux Monumens de I'Abbaye de 
Cisteaux, in the Memoires de I'Acad. des Inscript. t. 9, p. 193. 

t King Homiisdas dying, left his queen with child, and the infant in the womb was immediately pro- 
claimed iiing by the Magians, who went so far as to crown it, yet unborn, by placing the diadem for that 
purpose upon the mother. Thus Sapor was born Ising in .310, and lived seventy years, dying in 380 ; and the 
beginning of his reign was dated in 309, some months before his birth. He was the ninth king of the Sax- 
anite, or fourth dynasty of the Persian kings, founded by Artaxerxes, a Persian, who defeated and slew 
Artabanus, king of Parthia, in whom ended the Parthian empire, in the year of Christ 223, of the Greeks 
or the SeleucidcB 534, the third of the emperor Alexander. St. Maruthas, in the acts of the martyrs, with 
the Persians of his time, computes the years from this epoch : thus he says the great persecution was be- 
gun in the thirty-first year of king Sapor, and the hundred and seventeenth of the Persian empire, i. e. of 
the reign of the Saxanite, or last dynasty, which held that empire four hundred and eighteen years, till the 
rise of the Mahometan kingdom. 



[April 17. 

Great, preserved by Ammianus Marcellinus,^ in which, he styles himself king 
of kings, partner with the stars, brother of the sun and moon, and says, 
" That whereas in valor and virtue he surpassed all his predecessors, he 
ought to have demanded the largest extent of empire that any of them had 
possessed. Nevertheless, though their dominions had formerly reached as 
far as Macedonia, he contented himself with insisting only on the restitution 
of the eastern parts, which had been usurped by the Romans." It was as 
much out of hatred of the Roman name, as of the faith, that this haughty 
tyrant vented his rage on the Christians of his empire in three bloody per- 
secutions. The first he raised in the eighteenth year of his reign, of Christ 
327, in which were crowned Jonas, Barachisius, and others, mentioned on 
the 29th of March : the second in his thirtieth year, in which died SS. Sa- 
por, Isaac, &c., whom we commemorate on the 20th of November ; and 
the third, of all others the most cruel, in his thirty-first year. This was 
continued with the utmost rage, during the last forty years of his reign. 
Sozomen writes,^ that the names of sixteen thousand who were crowned by 
it, were upon record ; but adds, with St. Maruthas, that those whose names 
were not known on earth, were innumerable.* Of these glorious martyrs, 
St. Simeon and his companions were the most illustrious. 

St. Simeon was surnamed Barsaboe, signifying the son of a fuller, from 
the trade of his father, according to the custom of the Orientals. He was 
a disciple of Papa, bishop of Ctesiphon, and by him made his coadjutor, in 
314 ; from which time he sat twenty-six years and some months ; some 
time with Papa, afterwards alone. The council of Nice declared the bishop 
of Ctesiphon metropolitan of all Persia, which happened in St. Simeon's 
time : for he assisted at that council, not in person, but by his priest, who 
was afterwards his successor, and named Sciadhustes, as Ebedjesus and St. 
Maruthas testify. f The Chaldaic acts of the martyrdom of St. Simeon, 
written by St. Maruthas, give us the following account of his triumph. 

1 B. 17, c. 5. 

2 Soz. b. 2, c 15. 

* The Christian faith was planted in the Parthian empire by the apostles. St. Ambrose, (in Ps. 45,) St. 
Paulinus, (carm. 26,) &c., testify that St. Matthew preached to the Ethiopians, and afterwards to the Par- 
thians, Persians, and Medes. Eusebius and Theodorus the Studite say, that St. Bartholomew also preached 
in India and Persia. Some are of opinion, from St. John's epistle being inscribed to the Purthians, that 
they had been, in part, his conquest to Christ. The Chaldieans and Persians all agree that St. Thomas the 
Apostle, and Thadd-eeus, one of the seventy-two disciples, with his two disciples, Maris and Aghaeus, were 
the principal apostles of the East, and to them they ascribe the foundation of the see of Seleucia and 
Ctesiphon. Their testimonies may be seen in Assemani's Bihliotheca Orientalis, t. 3, par. 2, p. 4. Eusebius 
shows that there were many Christians in Persia in the second century. 

t Seleucia, called by the Syrians Selik, was built by Seleucus Nicator, or his son, and so called from 
him. Ctesiphon was situated on the opposite eastern bank of the Tigris, built by the Parthians in a most 
fruitful plain, separated from Seleucia by the river, though Strabo, &c. make the distance three miles. 
They were the two capital cities of Assyria and the Persian empire, during the reigns of the Arsacide 
kings, the ruins of whose palace long subsisted there. The archiepiscopal see of Seleucia and Ctesiphon 
enjoyed the right of primacy over all the churches in Persia, and the first general council of Nice decreed 
that it should be the lirst in rank and dignity after the great patriarchates, as is mentioned in the Arabic 
canons, (can. Arabic. 38 alias 33,) and as the Orientals assure us. St. Simeon is said to have been the first 
archbishop to whom the title of Catholicus of Persia was given. (See Steph. Evod. Assemani, p. 4.) Se- 
leucia and Ctesiphon having been destroyed in the wars, in 762, Abdalla Abugiapharus Almansores, the 
second of the Abbacide caliphs, built Bagdad, or new Babylon, on the western bank of the Tigris, about 
the place where Seleucia had stood. The Nestorian patriarch, who pretends to succeed the ancient 
Catholicus of Seleucia, resides at Bagdad. (See Steph. Evod. Assemani, p. 38.) Old Babylon stood on the 
Euphrates, probably on a channel diverging to the Tigris. The distance between the Tigris and Euphrates 
where nearest, about Seleucia and Babylon, was above two hundred furlongs, according, to Strabo, 1. 16, 
near the mouths of the two rivers, twenty-five Roman miles, according to Pliny, 1. G, c. 27. 

Susa, the capital of the old Persian kings, lay to the east from Seleucia, according to Pliny, 1. 6, c. 27, 
four hundred and fifty Roman miles ; from Ecbatana, capital of Media, where the ancient kings of Persia 
passed the summer, as the winter at Susa, (see Cellarius, t. 2, p. 668, ad Lipsiens 1732,) also four hundred 
and fifty Roman miles ; from whence twenty to the PortcD Caspia or Streights in the Caspian mountains, 
(separating Media from Parthia.) From Susa to the Persian gulf Pliny counts two hundred and fifty 
miles. Herodotus (I. 5) counts from Sanies to Susa four hundred and fifty parasangs, (each of thirty fur- 
longs,) or thirteen thousand five hundred furlongs, and from Ephesus to Sardes five hundred and forty fur- 
longs, that is, from Ephesus to Susa, fourteen thousand and forty furlongs. 

N. B. Pliny informs us that the Persian parasang was not always of the same measure ; and the same 
is to be said of the Parthian schoenus. Hasius proves that in Xenophon the parasangs are in such a pro- 
portion that thirty-three measured a degree on the equator, that is, sixty modern Italian, or seventy-five 
old Roman miles. As eight furlongs made a Roman mile, De I'lsle counts six hundred in a degree, or sev 
enty-five Roman miles. A German mile comprises four Italian, or five old Roman miles, or forty furlongs. 

April 17.] s, simeon, b., etc., mm. 105 

In the hundred and seventeenth year of the kingdom of the Persians, the 
thirty-first of Sapor, the king of kings, of Christ the three hundred and for- 
tieth, king Sapor, resolving to abolish the Christian religion, decreed, that 
whoever embraced it should be made a slave, and oppressed the Christians 
with insupportable taxes. St. Simeon wrote to him a letter, with that cour- 
age which nothing but a truly apostolic spirit could dictate. And to the 
threats of the king against him and his people, he answered : "As Jesus 
willingly offered himself to death for the whole world, and by dying re- 
deemed it, why shall I be afraid to lay down my life for a people, with the 
care of whose salvation I am charged ? I desire not to live, unless I may 
continue unspotted and undefiled. God forbid that I should purchase life at 
the hazard of those souls for which Jesus died. I am not so slothful as to 
fear to walk in his steps, to tread the path of his passion, and to share in 
the communion of his sacrifice. As to your threats against my people, they 
do not want for courage to die for their salvation." The king, receiving 
this answer, trembled with wrath, and immediately dictated a decree, com- 
manding all priests and deacons to be put to death, the churches to be level- 
led with the ground, and the sacred vessels to be converted to profane uses. 
He added : " And let Simeon, the leader of wicked men, who despises my 
royal majesty, worships only the God of Cassar, and despises my divinity, 
be brought and arraigned before me." The Jews, naturally enemies to the 
Christians, seeing the circumstances favorable to their malice, said to the 
king : " If you, O king, write to CfEsar, he will take no notice of your 
letter : but at a poor line from Simeon he will arise, adore, and embrace it 
with both hands, and command all things contained in it to be instantly put 
in execution." Simeon, pursuant to the king's orders, was apprehended and 
bound in chains with two others of the twelve priests of his church, Ab- 
dhaicla and Hananias. As he was led through his native city Susan, he 
begged he might not pass by a great Christian church lately converted into 
a Jewish synagogue by the authority of the Magians,* lest the very sight 
should make him fall into a swoon. Being hurried on by the guards in 
great haste, they made a long journey in a very few days, and arrived at 
Ledan, the capital of the Huzites, oi", as it is called by the Latins, the prov- 
ince of Uxia, upon the river Oxios, to the East, adjoining to the province 
of Susan. The governor had no sooner informed the king that the leader 
of the Christians was brought thither, than Simeon was ordered to appear 
before him. The holy bishop refusing to prostrate himself according to the 
Persian custom, the king asked why he did not adore him as he had former- 
ly been accustomed to do. Simeon answered : " Because I was never be- 
fore brought to you bound, and with the view of compelling me to deny the 
true God." The Magians told the king that Simeon ought to be put to 
death as a conspirator against his throne. Simeon said to them : " Impious 
men, are not you content to have corrupted the kingdom 1 Must you en- 
deavor to draw us Christians also into your wickedness ?" The king, then 
putting on a milder countenance, said : " Take my advice, Simeon, who 
wish you well : adore the deity of the sun ; nothing can be more for your 
own and your whole people's advantage." Simeon answered : " I would 
not adore you, king ; and you far excel the sun, being endued with rea- 

One furlong contained six hundred and twenty-five Roman, or six hundred Grecian feet, i. e. five hundred 
and seventy-one Paris feet. The confusion found in the mensurations of roads in Pliny, Diodorus, &;c., is 
thought by Hasius to proceed from a great difference in the old furlong, of which he thinks a degree con- 
tained one thousand one hundred. F. Hardouin, in his notes on Pliny, (I. 6, c. 27,) tal<es notice, that a 
Persian parasang was of sixty, or of thirty or forty furlongs ; and that there was as great a ditiesence in the 
Egyptian schoenus. 

* The Magians had always a great sway in the Persian government, till the Mahometans possessed 
themselves of that empire, who put many of them to death, and abolished their sect in the cities, though 
some still remain in the mountains and in Caramania. The word in Chaldaic signifies mediators. They 
were philosophers, much addicted to the folly of judiciary astrology and divinations. 

VOL. II. — 14 

106 S. SIMEON, B., ETC., MM. [ApRIL 17. 

son. We Christians have no Lord but Christ, who was crucified." " If 
you adored a living God," said the king, " I would excuse your folly ; but 
you give the title of God to a man who expired on an ignominious tree. 
Lay aside that madness, and adore the sun, by whose divinity all things 
subsist. If you do this, riches, honors, and the greatest dignities of my 
kingdom shall be yours." Simeon replied : " That sun mourned at the 
death of Christ its Lord and the Creator of men, who rose again glorious, 
and ascended into heaven. Your honors tempt not me, who know much 
greater are prepared for me in heaven, with which you are unacquainted." 
The king said : " Spare your own life, and the lives of an infinite multitude, 
who, I am resolved, shall all die, if you are obstinate." Simeon boldly an- 
swered : " Were you to commit such a crime, you would find cause to re- 
pent of it on the day when you will be called upon to give an account of all 
your actions ; you Avill then know the heinousness of your offence. I re- 
sign to your pleasure this miserable short life." Then the king said : 
" Though you have no compassion for yourself, I pity at least your follow- 
ers, and will endeavor to cure them of their folly, by the severity of your 
punishment." Simeon answered : " You will learn by experience that 
Christians will not lose their lives in God, for the sake of living here with 
you ; nor would we exchange the eternal name we have received from 
Christ, for the diadem which you wear." The king said : " If you will not 
honor me before my nobles, nor adore me with this sun, the deity of all the 
East, I will to-morrow cause the beauty of your face, and the venerable 
comeliness of your body, to be disfigured by blows, and stained with your 
blood." Simeon replied : " You make the sun and yourself equally gods ; 
but you are greater than the sun. If you disfigure this body, it has a re- 
pairer who will raise it again, and restore with interest this beauty which he 
created, and Avhich is now despicable." The king then commanded he 
should be kept in close confinement till the next day. It is remarked that 
St. Simeon was exceeding comely in his person, and venerable and grace- 
ful in his aspect. 

There sat at the palace gate, as Simeon was led through it, an old eunuch, 
in the highest favor with the king, who had been trained up by him from his 
infancy. He was then the first nobleman in the whole kingdom, and the 
Arzabades, that is, the keeper of the king's chamber, or the lord high cham- 
berlain : his name was Guhsciatazades, which in Chaldaic signifies noble- 
man. Sozomen calls him Usthazanes. He was a Christian, but fearing his 
master's displeasure, had some time before publicly adored the sun. This 
minister seeing the saint pass by, as he was led back to prison, rose up and 
prostrated himself before him. But the bishop, having been informed that 
he had been guilty of an outward act of idolatry, reprimanded him sharply 
for it, and turned away from him. This touched the eunuch to the quick, 
who entering into a sense of the enormity of his crime, burst into loud cries 
and many tears, filling the court with his lamentations, saying to himself : 
" If Simeon's aversion and rebuke be so grievous to me, how shall I be able 
to bear the anger and indignation of God, whom I have basely denied !" 
Whereupon, hastening home, he threw off his rich garments, and put on 
black for mourning, according to the Persian custom, still in use, under any 
afiliction. In this dress he returned, and sat in grief at the palace gate in 
his usual place. The king being informed of it, sent to inquire why he 
mourned, while his sovereign enjoyed his crown and health. He answered, 
that it was for a double fault, the renouncing the true God by adoring the 
sun, and the imposing on the emperor by an insincere act of worship, act- 
ing therein contrary to the dictates of his reason and conscience. The king, 
enraged thereat, said : " I will soon rid you of this mad grief, if you continue 

April 17.] s. simeon, b., etc., mm. 107 

obstinate in your present opinion." Guhsciatazades replied : " I call to wit- 
ness the Lord of heaven and earth, that I will never more obey you in this, 
nor repeat that of which I heartily repent. I am a Christian, and will never 
more be guilty of so base a perfidy against the true God to please man." 
The king said : " I pity your old age : I grieve to think you should lose the 
merit of your long services to my father and to myself. I beg you, lay aside 
the opinions of wicked men, that you may not perish together with them." 
The eunuch answered : " Know, O king, that I will never abandon God, and 
pay divine worship to creatures." " Do I then worship creatures ?" said the 
king. " Yes," said the nobleman, " even creatures destitute of reason and 
life." Hereupon the king commanded him to be put to the torture, but at the 
request of the nobility changed his mind, and gave orders for his immediate 
execution. As he was led out to be beheaded he sent a faithful eunuch to 
the king, begging, as the last and only favor for all his past services, that a 
crier might proclaim before him, that he was not put to death for any crime, 
but purely for being a Christian. This he desired, that he might repair the 
scandal which his apostacy had given. The king the more readily assented 
to the proposal, because he thought it would the more eflectually deter his 
subjects from a religion which he punished with death even in a faithful 
domestic, and a kind of foster-father : not considering how much so great 
an example would encourage them. The holy old man was beheaded on 
Maundy-Thursday, the thirteenth lunar day in April. St. Simeon being in- 
formed in his dungeon of the martyrdom of Guhsciatazades, gave most 
hearty thanks to God for his triumph, and earnestly begged his own might 
be hastened, crying out : " happy day, which will call me to execution ! 
It will free me from all dangers and miseries, and present me with my long 
desired crown : it will end all my sorrows, and wipe away all my tears." 
While he poured forth his soul in languishing sighs and long prayer, with 
his hands lifted up to heaven, the two priests who had been apprehended 
with him, saw and admired his countenance most beautiful and shining, 
expressing the inward joy of his soul, and his longing hope and desires. 
Maundy-Thursday night the saint spent in prayer, crying out : " Hear me, 
O Jesus, though most undeserving and unworthy, grant that I may drink this 
cup on this day, and at the hour of your passion. May all know that 
Simeon was obedient to his Lord, and was sacrificed with him." 

Simeon being brought to the bar the next day, it being Good-Friday, and 
refusing, as before, to adore the king, he said to him : " Simepn, what is the 
result of this night's deliberation ? Do you accept of my mercy, or do you 
persist in disobeying me, and choose death ? Adore the sun but for once, 
and never adore it again, unless you please. On that condition, i promise 
you all liberty, security, and protection." Simeon replied : " I will never 
be guilty of such a crime and scandal." The king said : " I call to remem- 
brance our former friendship : on which account I wished you well, and 
have given you signal proofs of my lenity : but you contemn my benevo- 
lence. Impute therefore all to yourself." Simeon said : " Flatter me not : 
why am not I speedily sacrificed 1 The table is ready prepared for me, and 
the happy hour of my banquet calls me." The king, turning to his nobles, 
said : " Behold the vvonderful dignity of his countenance, and the venerable 
majesty of his person. I have seen many countries, but never beheld so 
graceful a face, and such comely limbs. Yet see the madness of the man ; 
he is obstinately bent on dying for his error." To this they all answered 
him : " king, your wisdom cannot so much admire the beauty of his body, 
as not to regard more the minds which he has corrupted." Then the king 
condemned him to be beheaded, and he was immediately conducted to exe- 
cution. A hundred other Christians were led out to sufler with him : among 

108 S. APOLLONIUS, M. [ApRIL 18. 

whom were j&ve bisliops, some priests and deacons, the rest were of the 
inferior clergy. The chief judge said to them : " If any one of you will 
adore the sun, the great god, let him step forth : his life shall be granted 
him." But not one of them accepted life at this rate, all crying out : " Our 
faith in God teaches us to contemn your torments, your swords cannot cut 
off our firm hopes of our resurrection. Your pretended deity we will never 
adore." The officers accordingly began to dispatch them, while St. Simeon, 
standing in the midst of them, continued exhorting them to constancy in the 
assured hope of a happy resurrection. After the hundred martyrs were exe- 
cuted, St. Simeon also received himself the stroke of the axe, together with 
his two companions, Abdhaicla and Hananias. The latter, as he was put- 
ting off his clothes, was seized with a violent but involuntary trembling ; 
which being observed by Phusikius, or Phasic, who had been a few days 
before created by the king the Karugabarus, or prefect of the king's work- 
men, cried out : " Hananias, banish all fear : shut your eyes one moment, 
and you will behold the light of Christ." He had no sooner said this, than 
he was seized and carried before the king, who reproached him as ungrate- 
ful for the honor lately conferred upon him. Phusikius answered : " I could 
desire to exchange my life for their death. I renounce this your honor, full 
of cares and trouble, and beg their death, than which nothing can be more 
happy." Then the king said : " Do you despise your dignity, and prefer 
death ? Are you a lunatic ?" Phusikius answered : " I am a Christian ; 
and, by a most certain hope in God, I prefer their death to your honors." 
The king being enraged, said to his attendants : " This man must not die 
by any common death ;" and commanded that the back of his neck should 
be cut through into his mouth, and his tongue plucked out by the roots 
through the wound. This was executed with extreme cruelty, and Phusi- 
kius expired the same hour. He had a daughter who had consecrated her 
virginity to God, who was also apprehended, and crowned with a no less 
glorious martyrdom in 341. St. Simeon and all this troop are mentioned 
with most honorable encomiums in the Roman, and all the Eastern martyr- 
ologies. St. Maruthas translated the relics of St. Simeon, and deposited 
them in the church of his own episcopal city, which from thence took the 
name of Martyropolis. St. Simeon suffered on the 17th of April, in 341, 
the second year of the great persecution, and is named in the Roman Mar- 
tyrology on the 21st of this month : but is honored in the Greek Menasa on 
the 17th, and in the menology of the emperor Basil on the 14th of this 



From Eusebius, Hist. b. 5, c. 21 ; St. Jerom. Cat. c. 42 ; TertuU. Apol. 
A. D. 186. 

Marcus Aurelius had persecuted the Christians from principle, being a 
bigoted pagan : but his son Commodus, who, in 180, succeeded him in the 
empire, after some time, though a vicious man, showed himself favorable to 
them out of regard to Marcia, a lady whom he had honored with the title of 

April 18, J 



empress, and who was an admirer of the faith. During this calm, the num- 
ber of the faithful was exceedingly increased, and many persons of the first 
rank enlisted themselves under the banner of the cross, of which number 
was Apollonius, a Roman senator. He was a person very well versed both 
in philosophy and the holy scripture. In the midst of the peace which the 
church enjoyed, he was publicly accused of Christianity by one of his own 
slaves, named Severus, before Perennis, prefect of the Pra;torium. The slave 
was immediately condemned by the prefect to have his legs broke, and to be 
put to death, in consequence of an edict of Marcus Aurelius, who, without 
repealing the former laws against convicted Christians, ordered by it that 
their accusers should be put to death. The slave being executed, pursuant 
to the sentence already mentioned, the same judge sent an order to his mas- 
ter, St. Apollonius, to renounce his religion as he valued his life and fortune. 
The saint courageously rejected such ignominious terms of safety, wherefore 
Perennis referred him to the judgment of the Roman senate, commanding 
him to give an account of his faith to that#body. The martyr hereupon 
composed an excellent discourse, but which has not reached our times, in 
vindication of the Christian religion, and spoke it in a full senate. St. Jerom, 
who had perused it, did not know whether more to admire the eloquence, or 
the profound learning, both sacred and profane, of its illustrious author: who, 
persisting in his refusal to comply with the condition, was condemned by a 
decree of the senate, and beheaded, about the year 186, of Commodus the 

It is the prerogative of the Christian religion to inspire men with such 
resolution, and form them to such heroism, that thfey rejoice to sacrifice their 
life to truth. This is not the bare force and exertion of nature, but the un- 
doubted power of the Almighty, whose strength is thus made perfect in 
weakness. Every Christian ought to be an apologist for his religion by the 
sanctity of his manners. Such would be the force of universal good exam- 
ple, that no libertine or infidel could withstand it. But by the scandal and 
irregularity of our manners, we fight against Christ, and draw a reproach 
upon his most holy religion. Thus, through us, are his name and faith blas- 
phemed among the Gentiles. The primitive Christians converted the world 
by the sanctity of their example ; and, by the spirit of every heroic and di- 
vine virtue which their actions breathed, spread the good odor of Christ on 
all sides : but we, by a monstrous inconsistency between our lives and our 
faith, scandalize the weak among the faithful, strengthen the obstinacy of 

* It seems a strange inconsistPiicy, that Marcus Aurelius shouUl be the author of such an edict as was 
before mentioned. But no less glaringly absurd nwd unjust was the answer of Trajan to Pliny the Younger 
that Christians ought not to be sought after, yet that they were to be condemned, if accused : which Ter- 
tulllan justly confutes bya keen raillery, and this dilemma: "If they are criminal, why are they not sought 
after? if inmicent, why are they punished V (ApoL c. 2.) It is certain that Marcus Aurelius, with all his 
philosophical virtues and princely qualities, did not love the Christians ; as is clear from unquestionable 
authority, even from his own book- And, besides a tincture of superstition and philosophic phrensy, a 
mixture of weakness was blended in his character, notwithstanding the boasted cry of his wisdmn. And 
it was certainly to act out of character, and more like a pedant than a prince, for a Roman emperor, in his 
old age, to tradge with his book, iik-e a schoolboy, to the house of Sextus the philosopher, to learn his 
lesson. After his miraculous victory in Germany, in 174, he published an edict in favor of the Christians : 
but his boon was not complete, Commodus did not persecute them, yet would not protect them against the 
senate, which, in general, was never favorable to Christianity: and some emperors, who were mildly in- 
clined, seemed to have oppressed the Christians only to gain the esteem of that respectable body. It is 
again objected by some to this history of St. Apollonius, that no slave would have exposed him-elf to cer- 
tain death by accusing his master. But this the informer did not expect would be his fate. He might be 
ignorant of such an edict, or persuaded he had nothing to fear from it: and the hope of liberty, the encour- 
agement of some powerful pagan, and other such motives, might prompt him to perpetrate this villany. 
He doubtless hoped to make his court to some persons ; for men in power are often fond of informers! 
The perjuries and villanies of those miscreants had rendered them odious at Rome. Tacitus, the historian 
calls them, genus homimum publieoexitio repertum, et pceiiis nunquiim satis coercitum. Titus, Nerva, and 
Trajan, had made severe edicts against that tribe- St Cyprian, when asked at his trial the names of the 
priests at Carthage, answered, that the civil laws justly condenmed delators. A slave that accused his 
master by the Roman laws was liable to be put to death. See Cod. 1. x. tit. xi. and the notes. In the 
present case, the senate might condemn St. Apollonius by the rescript of Trajan to Pliny, or other former 
laws : yet punish the slave, not to encourage such base informers. 

110 S. GALDIN, B. C. [ApRIL 18. 

infidels, and furnish them with arms against that very religion which we 
profess. " Either change thy faith, or change thy manners," said an an- 
cient father. 


He was born at Milan, of the most illustrious house of the Vavassors of 
La Scala, famous in the history of Italy. Innocence and virtue were the 
ornaments of his youth, and prepared him for the ministry of the altar. Be- 
ing promoted to holy orders, he was, by the archbishop, made his chancel- 
lor and archdeacon, and from that time began to bear the chief weight of 
the episcopal charge, which was at no time more heavy or difficult. Pope 
Adrian IV., an Englishman, died in 1159, and Alexander III., a person em- 
inent for his skill in theology and in the canon law, was chosen to succeed 
him ; but five cardinals presurnbd to form a schism in favor of Octavian, un- 
der the name of Victor. The emperor Frederick I., surnamed from the color 
of his beard and hair, ^Enobarbus, and by the Italians, Barbarossa, a prince 
who sullied the reputation which several victories and great natural parts 
had acquired him by many acts of tyranny, carried on an unjust quarrel with 
several popes successively ; seizing the revenues of vacant ecclesiastical 
benefices, usurping the investiture and nomination of bishops, and openly 
making a simoniacal traffic of all that was sacred. It is not, therefore, 
strange, that such a prince should declare himself the patron and protector 
of a schism which had beeji raised only by his faction and interest in Rome. 
The city of Milan offended him in 1150, by claiming an exclusive right of 
choosing its own magistrates ; and still more the year following, by openly 
acknowledging Alexander III. for true pope. The emperor, highly in- 
censed, sat down before it with a great army, in 1161 ; and, after a siege of 
ten months, in 1162, compelled it to surrender at discretion. In revenge, 
he razed the town, filled up the ditches, levelled the walls and houses with 
the ground, and caused salt to be sown upon the place, as a mark that this 
city was condemned never more to be rebuilt. The bodies of the three 
kings which he found there in the church of St. Eustorgius, he ordered to 
be removed to Cologne on this occasion. The archbishop Hubert dying in 

1166, Galdin, though absent, was pitched upon for his successor; and the 
pope, who consecrated him with his own hands, created him cardinal and 
leorate of the holy see. The new pastor made it his first care to comfort and 
encourage his distressed flock; and, wherever he was able, to exert his in- 
fluence to abolish the schism, in which he effectually succeeded throughout 
all Lombardy. The Lombard cities had unanimously entered into a com- 
mon league to rebuild Milan. When the walls and moats were finished, the 
inhabitants, with great joy, returned into their city on the 27th of April, 

1167. The emperor again marched against it, but v^as defeated by the Mi- 
lanese ; and seeing Lombardy, Venice, the kingdom of Sicily, and all Italy 
united in an obstinate league against him, he agreed lo hold a conference 
with the pope at Venice, in which he abjured the schism, and made his 
peace with the church in 1177.* The distracted state of the comman- 

* That Alexander III. set his foot on the neck of the emperor Frederick, in the porch of St. Mai-k's 
church, in Venice, on this occasion, is a notorious forgery, as Baronius, NalaVis Alexander, (in Siec. 12, art. 
9, in Alex. III.) and all other judicious historians demonstrate, fioni the silence of all tonteu]p"Mry 
writer-sas of lluniuald, archbishop of Salerno, who wrote the history of Alexander, and of tLi^ very trans- 
action, at which lie himself was present, hoth in the council of Venice and at the absolution of the empe- 
ror: also of Matthew Paris, William of Tyre, and Roger Hoveden. Nor is the story consistent with rea- 
son, or with the singular meekness of Alexander, who, when the second antipupe, John of Strume, called 
Calixtus III., had renounced the schism, in ]178, always treated him with the greatest humanity and hon- 
or, and entertained him at his own table. At Venice, indeed, among the great exploits of the common- 
wealth, are exquisitely painted, in the senate-house, this pretended humiliation of Frederick, and their 

April 18.] 



wealth did not hinder our saint from attending diligently to his pastoral du- 
ties. He preached assiduously, assisted the poor, who had always the first 
place in his heart, and made it his study to prevent all their wants, spiritual 
and corporal. By humility, he always appeared as the last in his flock, and 
by charity he looked upon the burdens and miseries of every one as his 
own. He sought out the miserable amidst the most squalid scenes of 
wretchedness, and afforded them all necessary relief. But the spiritual ne- 
cessities of the people, both general and particular, challenged his principal 
attention. He restored discipline, extinguished all the factions of the schis- 
matics, and zealously confuted the heretics, called Cathari, a kind of Mani- 
chees, who had been left in Lombardy from the dregs of the impious army 
of the emperor Frederick. Assiduous prayer was the chief means by which 
the saint drew down the dew of the divine benediction, both upon his own 
soul and upon his labors. As Moses descended from the mountain, on 
which he had conversed with God, with his face shining, so that others 
were not able to fix their eyes upon it : so this holy man appeared in his 
public functions, and announced the divine word, inflamed by prayer, with 
an ardor and charity which seemed heavenly, and both struck and attracted 
the most obstinate. On the last day of his life, though too weak to say 
mass, he mounted the pulpit at the gospel, and preached with great vigor a 
long and pathetic sermon : but tow^ards the close fell into a swoon, and 
about the end of the mass expired in the pulpit, on the 18th of April, 1176. 
All lamented in him- the loss of a father, but found him still an advocate in 
heaven, as many miracles attested. He is honored in the ancient missals 
and breviaries of Milan, and in the Roman Martyrology. See his two au- 
thentic lives, with the notes of Henschenius, Apr. t. 2, p. 593. 



Laserian was son of Cairel and Blitha, persons of great distinction, who 
intrusted his education, from his infancy, to the abbot St. Murin. He after- 
wards travelled to Rome in the days of pope Gregory the Great, by whom 
he is said to have been ordained priest. Soon after his return to Ireland, 
he visited Leighlin, a place situated a mile and a half westward of the river 
Barrow, where St. Goban was then abbot, who, resigning to him his abba- 
cy, built a little cell for himself and a small number of monks. A great 
synod being soon after assembled there, in the White Fields, St. Laserian 
strenuously maintained the Catholic time of celebrating Easter against St. 
Munnu. This council was held in March, 630. But St. Laserian not being 
able to satisfy in it all his opponents, took another journey to Rome, where 
pope Honorius ordained him bishop, without allotting him any particular see, 
and made him his legate in Ireland. Nor was his commission fruitless : 
for, after his return, the time of observing Easter was reformed in the south 
parts of Ireland. St. Laserian died on the 18th of April, 638, and was bu- 
ried in his own church which he had founded. In a synod held at Dublin, 
in 1330, the feasts of St. Patrick, St. Laserian, St. Bridget, St. Canic, and 
St.'Edan, are enumerated among the double festivals through the province 
of Dublin. St. Laserian was the first bishop of Old Leighlin, now a vil- 
lage. New Leighlin stands on the eastern bank of the river Barrow. See 
Ware, p. 54, and Colgan's MSS. on the 18th of April. 

great naval victory over his son Otho, and the triumph of the Lombard cities over his land anny. But 
painters and poets are equally allowed the liberty of fictions or emblematical representations. The pic- 
tures, moreover, are modern, and no more amount to a proof of the fact than the bead-roll story of the 
beadle of Westminster abbey might do. 

112 s. LEO IX., P. c. [April 19. 



From the councils, and his life written with great accuracy by Wibert his archdeacon, at Toul, published 
by F. Sirmond at Paris, in 1615, by Henschenius, 19 Apr. Mabillon, Act. Ben. t. 9, et Muratorl Script. 
Ital. t. 3, p. 278, ad p. 299 : another life by the cardinal of Aragon, who flourished in 1356, apud JStira- 
tori, ib. p. 276. Also from a history of his death by an anonymous contemporary writer, ib., and from 
the history of the dedication of the church of St. Reniisrius at Rheims, by Anselm, a monk of that 
house, entitled, Itinerariura Leonis IX. in Mabillon, t. 8. See Hist. Litt6r. Fr. t. 7, p. 453 ; Mabillon, 
Annal. 1. 59, n. 61, 62 ; Calmet, Hist, de Lorr. t. 4, p. 17G. 

A. D. 1054. 

This great pope received in baptism the name of Bruno. He was bom 
in Alsace, in 1002, with his body marked all over with little red crosses : 
which was attributed to the intense meditation of his pious mother on the 
passion of Christ.* He was of the illustrious house of Dapsbourgh, or 
Asbourgh, in that province, being the son of Hugh, cousin-german to the 
mother of the pious emperor Conrad the Salic. He had his education 
under Berthold, the virtuous and learned bishop of Toul ; and, after his first 
studies, was made a canon in that cathedral.' His time was principally 
divided betwixt prayer, pious reading, and his studies : and the hours of 
recreation he employed in visiting the hospitals and instructing the poor. 
When he was deacon, he was called to the court of the emperor Conrad, 
and was much honored by that prince. The young clergyman displayed an 
extraordinary talent for business ; but never omitted his long exercises of 
devotion, or his usual fasts and other austere mortifications. In 1026, he 
was chosen bishop of Toul. The emperor endeavored to persuade him to 
defer his consecration till the year following: but the saint hastened to the 
care of the church, of which he was to give an account to God, and was 
consecrated by his metropolitan, the archbishop of Triers ; but refused to 
take an unjust and dangerous oath which he exacted of his suffragans, that 
they would do nothing but by his advice. Bruno began to discharge his 
pastoral office by the reformation of the clergy and monks, whom he con- 
sidered as the most illustrious portion of the flock of Christ, and the salt of 
the earth. By his care the monastic discipline and spirit were revived in 
the great monasteries of Senones, Jointures, Estival, Bodonminster, Middle- 
Moutier, and St. Mansu, or Mansuet. He reformed the manner of cele- 
brating the divine office, and performing the church music, in which he took 
great delight. A soul that truly loves God, makes the divine praises the 
comfort of her present exile. The saint was indefatigable in his labors to 
advance the service of God and the salvation of souls. Amidst his great 
actions, it was most admirable to see how little he was in hjs own eyes. 
He every day served and washed the feet of several poor persons. His 

1 Wibert, in Vita Leonis IX. 1. 1, n. 10. t 

* By what means the imagination, under the violent impression of some strong image or passion, in 
pregnant mothers, should impress visible marks on the organs of the child in the womb, while the circu- 
lation of fluids is the same through the body of the child and that of the mother ; and the former is so 
tender in its frame, that if blown upon by wind, it would retain the mark ; is a problem which we can no 
more account for than we can understand the general laws of the union between the soul and body in 
ourselves. But whatever some late physicians have said to the contrary, innumerable incontestable facts 
might be gathered to evince the truth of the thing. Probably the spirits or sinews of the mother receive 
a power of conveying a sensilile image, and strongly impressing it on the inward parts of the tender em- 
bryo ; of tlie fact Dr. Mead is an une.xceptionable voucher. 

April 19.] 

LEO IX., p. 


life was an uninterrupted severe course of penance, by the practice of secret 
austerities, and a constant spirit of compunction. Patience and meekness 
were the arms by which he triumphed over envy and resentment, when 
many strove to bring him into disgrace with the emperor and others. Out 
of devotion to St. Peter, he visited once a year the tombs of the apostles 
at Rome. After the death of pope Damasus II., in 1048, in a diet of pre- 
lates and noblemen, with legates and deputies of the church of Rome, held 
at Worms, and honored with the presence of the pious emperor, Henry III., 
surnamed the Black, Bruno, who had then governed the see of Toul twenty- 
two years, was pitched upon as the most worthy person to be exalted to the 
papacy. He being present, used all his endeavors to avert the storm from 
falling on his head ; and at length begged three days to deliberate upon the 
matter. This term he spent in tears and prayers, and in so rigorous a 
fast, that he neither ate nor drank during all that time. The term being 
expired, he returned to the assembly, and, hoping to convince his electors 
of his unworthiness, made a public general confession before them of the 
sins of his whole life, with abundance of tears, which drew also tears from 
all that were present : yet no man changed his opinion. He yielded at last 
only on condition that the whole clergy and people of Rome should agree 
to his promotion. After this declaration, he returned to Toul, and soon 
after Easter set out for Rome in the habit of a pilgrim ; and alighting from 
his horse, some miles before he arrived at the city, walked to it, and entered 
it barefoot. He was received with universal acclamations, and his election 
ratified. He took possession of the see on the 12th of February, 1049, 
under the name of Leo IX., being about forty-seven years old. He held it 
only five years, but they were filled with good works. He labored strenu- 
ously in extirpating simony, and the incestuous marriages which many 
noblemen had presumed to contract. In a journey which he made into 
Germany, he signalized all his steps with religious actions, held a council 
at Rheims, and consecrated the new church of St. Remigius, belonging to 
the abbey, in 1049 : and returned from Mentz, by mount Vosge and Riche- 
now, to Rome. In 1050, in a council at Rome,^ he condemned the new 
heresy of Berengarius, archdeacon of Angers, a man full of self-conceit, 
and a lover of novelty, who preached against the mystery of transubstan- 
tiation in the holy eucharist.* 

2 Herm. Contract. Chron. ad an. 1050 ; Lanfranc. in Bereng. c.4. 

* Berengarius, a native of Tours, studied first in tiie school of St. Martin's in that city, afterwards at 
Chartres, under the famous Fulbprt its bishop. Returning to Tours with great reputation for his skill in 
grammar and dialectic, about the year 1030, he conjinenced Scholasticus in that city, by which title we 
are to understand master of the school, not, as Baillet mistakes, (.Tugements des Scavants,) the Ecolatre, or 
Scholasticus among the canons of the cathedral, (wliich seems not then to have been erected into a dig- 
nity in chapters,) much less the Tlieologal, certainly of a more modern institution. See Menage. 
(Anti-Baill. t. 1, c. 39, p. 134.) Many eminent men were formed in his school ; among others Eusehius 
liruno, who, in 1047, succeeded Hubert uf Vendome in the bishopric of Angers, and the learned Hildebert, 
who became bishop of Mans, and afterwards archbishop of Tours. Berengarius was honored with the 
priesthood, and, about the year 1039, nominated by Hubert of Vendome, archdeacon of Angers, though he 
continued to govern the school of Tours, and often resided there till his retreat, eight years before his 
death. He enjoyed the esteem of many learned and lioly men, till jealousy and ambition blasted many 
great qualities with which he seemed endowed, and transformed him into another man. Guitmund, from 
the testimony of those who best knew him, says that the confusion he felt for having been worsted in a 
disputation which he had with Lanfranc, and the envyr which he bore him when he saw his school at 
Bee daily more and more crowded, and his own almost deserted, first made him seek to distinguish himself 
by advancing novelties. (Guitm. de Euch. 1. 1, p. 44), t. 4, Bibl. Patr.) Easebius Bruno, formerly his 
scholar, entreated him to examine his own heart, whether it was not owing to a desire of distinguishing 
himself that he had begun? to dispute against the holy Eucharist, (Ap. De Roye, p. 48,) and Lanfranc 
ascribes his fall to vain-glory, (in Bereng. c. 4.) About the year 1047 he first broached errors against mar- 
riage, and against the baptism of infants ; but soon corrected himself. He immediately after fell into 
others concerning the blessed Eucharist, in which he made use of the erroneous book of John Scotus 
Erigena. Hugh, bishop of Langres, who had formerly been his schoolfellow at Chartres, in a conference 
with Berengarius, discovered that he denied the mystery of the real presence, and transubstantiation, and 
wrote him a beautiful dogmatical letter on that subject before October, in 1049, (in Append. Op. Lanfr. p. 
68.) Adelman, who had been also his schoolfellow in the same place, and was afterwards bishop of 
Brescia, wrote to him an excellent letter before the year 1050, in which he says that two years before, the 

VOX. II. — 15 


S, LEO IX,, P. C. 

[April 19. 

St. Leo held another council at Vercelli the same year, composed of pre- 
lates from several countries, who unanimously confirmed the censure passed 
at Rome on Berengarius and his tenets, and condemned a book of John 

churches of Germany and Italy had been exceedingly disturbed and scandalized upon the rumor that so 
impious an error was advanced by him, (Ap. Martenne, Anecdot. t. 1, p. 196.) Berengarius openly de- 
clared his erroneous doctrine in certain letters which he wrote to Lanfranc about that time, in which he 
espoused the errors of John Scotus Erigena, and condemned the doctrine of Paschasius Radbertus, which 
was that of the church, (in vita Lanfr. c. 3, et Lanfr. in Bereng. c. 4, p. 22.) The news of this new 
heresy no sooner reached Rome, but St. Leo IX. condemned it in a council which he held in that city after 
Easter, in 1050. But as Berengarius could not be heard in person, the pope ordered another council to 
meet at Vercelli three months after, at which the heresiarch was summoned to appear. He was soon in- 
formed of the condemnation of his error at Rome, and immediately repaired into Normandy to the young 
duke William the Bastard. In a conference before that prince at Brione, he and a cleric who was his 
scholar, and on whom he much relied in disputation, were reduced to silence by the Catholic theologians, 
and revoked their errors. But Berengarius insolently renewed them at Chartres, whither he withdrew, as 
we are informed by Durand, abbot of Troarn. (L. de Corpore Domini, p. 437. See also Mabillon, Acta 
Bened. n. 16, et Annal. 1. 59, n. 74.) St. Leo IX. opened the council at Vercelli in September, at which 
Berengarius did not appear, but only two ecclesiastics in his name, who were silenced in the disputation: 
the doctrine which they maintained was condemned, and the book of John Scotus Erigena thrown into 
the flames. In October the same year, 1050, a council at Paris, in presence of king Henry, unanimously 
condemned Berengarius and his accomplices, and the king deprived him of the revenue of his benefice. 
In 1054, Victor II. having succeeded the holy pope Leo IX., held immediately a council at Florence, in 
which he confirmed all the decrees of his predecessor. He caused another to be assembled the same year 
at Tours by his legates, Hildebrand and cardinal Gerard, in which Berengarius made his appearance ac- 
cording to summons. He at first began to vindicate his error, but at length solemnly retracted it, and 
bound himself by oath to maintain with the Catholic church the faith of the real presence in the blessed 
Eucharist. This retraction he signed with his own hand, and thereupon was received by the legates to 
the communion of the church, (Lanfr. p. 234; Anonym, de Multiplic. Condemn. Bereng. p. 361 ; Guitm. 
1. 3, t. 18; Bibl. Patr. p. 462 ; Mabillon, &c.) Yet the perfidious wretch, soon after he was come from the 
council, made a jest of his oath, and continued secretly to teach his heresy. To shut every door against 
it, Maurillus, archbishop of Rouen, made an e.xcellent confession of the Catholic faith, which he obliged 
all to subscribe : in which many other prelates imitated him. (See Mabillon, Act. t. 9. p. 226, and Annal. 
t. 2, p. 460, &c.) Eusebius Bruno, bishop of Angers, in his letter to Berengarius, mentions a second council 
held at Tours against him. After the death of pope Stephen, who had succeeded Victor, Nicholas II. 
assembled at Rome, in 1059, a council of one hundred and thirteen bishops, at which Berengarius was 
present, signed the Catholic confession of faith on this mystery, presented him by the council, and having 
kindled himself a fire in the midst of the assembly, threw into it the book which contained his heresy. 
The pope sent copies of his recantation to all places where his errors had raised a disturbance, and 
admitted him to comi,!union. Nevertheless the author being returned into France, relapsed into his error, 
and spoke injuriously of the see of Rome, and the holy pope Leo IX. Alexander II. wrote him a tender 
letter, exhorting him to enter into himself, and no longer to scandalize the church. Eusebius Bruno, 
bishop of Angers, formerly his scholar, and afterwards his friend and protector, did the same. In 1076, 
Gerard, cardinal bishop of Ostia, presided in a council at Poitiers, against his errors. Maurillus, arch- 
bishop of Rouen, had condemned them ijj a council at Rouen, in 1063, (Mabillon, Analect. pp. 224, 227, 
and 514.) Hildebrand having succeeded Alexander II. under the name of Gregory VII., called Beren- 
garius to Rome in 1078, and in a council there obliged him to give in a Catholic confession of fliith. The 
bishops of Pisa and Padua thinking afterwards that he had not sufficiently expressed the mystery of Tran- 
substantiation, and his former relapses having given reason to suspect his sincerity, the pope detained him 
a year at Rome, till another council should be held. This met in February, 1079, and was composed of 
one hundred and fifty bishops. In it Berengarius declared his firm faith that the bread and wine are sub- 
stantially changed into the IJody and Blood of Christ, and prostrating himself, confessed that he had till 
then erred on the mystery of the Eucharist. (See Martenne, Anecdot. t. 1, p. 109.) After so solemn a 
declaration of his repentance he returned to the vomit when he arrived in France. Then it was that 
Lanfranc, who had been nine years bishop of Canterbury, in 1079, wrote his excellent confutation of this 
heresy, in which he mentions the pontificate of Gregory VII., and the last council at Rome, in 1070. From 
which, and other circumstances, Dom. Clemencez demonstrates that he could not have published this 
work while he was abbot at Caen, as Mabillon and Fleury imagined. About the same time Guitmund, 
afterwards bishop of Aversa, near Naples, a scholar of Lanfranc, published also a learned book on the 
Body of Christ, against Berengarius. Alger, a priest and scholastic at Liege, afterwards a monk of Cluni, 
who died in 1130, wrote also an incomparable book on the same subject, by the reading of which Erasmus 
says his faith of the truth of that great mystery, of which he never doubted, was much confirmed, and 
he strongly recommends to all modern Sacramentarians the perusal of these three treatises preferably to 
all the polemic writers of his age. Durand, monk of Fecam, afterwards abbot of Troarn, about the year 
1060, likewise wrote on the Body of our Lord, against Berengarius, which book is published by D'Achery 
in an Appendix to the works of Lanfranc. 

These treatises of Lanfranc and Guitmund doubtless contributed to open the eyes of Berengarius, who 
never pretended to make any reply to either of them, and whose sincere repentance for the eight last 
years of his life is attested by irrefragable authorities of the same age, as by Clarius the monk, who died 
ten years after him, and almost in his neighborhood, (Spicileg. t. 2, p. 747,) Richard of Poitiers, a monk 
of Cluni, (Ap. Martenne, Ampl. Collect, t. 5, p. 1168,) the chronicle of Tours, (Ap. Martenne, Anecd. t. 3,) 
and others. These eight years he spent in prayer, almsdeeds, and manual labor, in the isle of St. Cosmas, 
below the city, then belonging to the abbey of Marinoutier, where he died in 1088. William of Malmes- 
bury writes, that he died trembling, after making the following declaration: "This day will my Lord 
Jesus Christ appear to me either to glory, by his mercy, through my repentance ; or, as I fear, on the 
account of others, to my punishment." Oudin, the apostate, betrays a blind passion in favor of the 
heresy, which he had embraced, when he pretends to call in question his repentance. (De Script. Ecclcs. 
t. 2, p. 635.) Cave carries his prejudices yet further, by exaggerating, beyond all bounds, the number of 
his followers. If it amounted to three hundred, this might seem considerable to Malmesbury and others, 
who complain tliat he seduced many. Not a single person of note is mentioned among them. Cave says, 
his adversaries were only the monks. But Hugh, bishop of Langres, Theoduin of Liege, Eusebius Bruno 
of Angers, the two scholastics of Liege, Gossechin and Adelman, many of the bishops who condemned 
him, and others who confuted his error, were not of the monastic order. Never was any he.esy more uni- 
versally condemned over the whole church. The unhappy author is convinced from his writings of 
notorious falsifications, (Martenne, loc. cit. p. Ill, &c.,) and of perfidy from his three solemn retractations 
falsified by him, viz. in the Roman council of pope Nicholas II., (Cone. t. 9, p. 1101,) and in those of St. 

April 19.] 

S. LEO IX., p. c. 


Scotus Erigena to be cast into the fire.^ In 1051 the pope made a second 
visit to his ancient see of Toul, and favored the abbey of St. Mansu with 
great presents and exemptions. In 1052 he went again into Germany to 
reconcile the emperor Henry III. and Andrew, king of Hungary. In 1053 
Michael Cerularius, patriarch of Constantinople, began to renew the schism 
of the Greek church, which had been formerly commenced by Photius, but 
again healed. Cerularius and Leo, bishop of Acrida, wrote a joint letter 
to John bishop of Trani, in Apulia, in which they objected to the Latins, 
that they celebrated the holy eucharist in unleavened bread, fasted on the 
Saturdays in Lent, refrained not from eating blood, omitted to sing halleluia 
in Lent, and other such like points of discipline.^ Malice must be to the 
last degree extravagant, which could pretend to ground a schism upon such 
exceptions. St. Leo answered him by an exhortation to peace, alleging for 
these practices of discipline the ancient law and tradition from St. Peter, 
especially for the use of unleavened bread in the holy eucharist. He sent 
cardinal Humbert, his legate, to Constantinople, to vindicate the Latin 
church against the exceptions of the Greeks, and preserve them in union 
with the Latins. He composed a learned and ample apology for this pur- 
pose ;' but was not able to overcome the obstinacy of Cerularius, whose 
artifices drew the greater part of the Oriental churches into his schism. 
By his factious spirit he also embroiled the state : for which Isaac Com- 
nenus himself, whom he had raised to the throne the year before, was pre- 
paring to chastise him, when his death prevented his punishment, in 

The Normans, in the eleventh century, expelled the Saracens and Greeks 
out of the kingdom of Naples, but became themselves troublesome and en- 
terprising neighbors to the holy see. Pope Leo implored against them the 
succors of the emperor Henry III., to whom he made over Fuld, Bamberg, 
and other lands, which the popes then possessed in Germany, receiving in 
exchange Benevento and its territory in Italy. With these succors his Ho- 
liness hoped to check the Normans, but his army was defeated by them, and 
himself taken prisoner in a certain village, and detained near a y«ar, though 
always treated with great honor and respect. He spent his time in fasting 
and prayer, wore a hair-cloth next his skin, lay on a mat on the floor with a 
stone for his pillow, slept little, and gave large alms. Falling sick, he was 
honorably sent back to Rome, as he desired. Perceiving his end to draw 
nigh, he made moving exhortations to his prelates ; then caused himself to 
be carried into the Vatican church, where he prayed long, and discoursed 

3 Lanfr. in Bereng. c. 4. < Cerular. ep. et Sigeb. de Script, c. 349. 

6 T. 9, Cone. p. 949, and Sigebert de Script. Eccl. c. 349, Baron. Annal. t. 9 ; Leo Allat. 1, de Lib. Eccles. 
5 Cedrenus, Zonaras, Curopal, &c. See Baronius, &c. 

Gregory VII. in 1078 and 1079; not to mention that which lie made before William the Bastard, duke of 
Normandy. From the fragments and letters of this heresiarch which have reached us, it appears that 
his style was dry, harsli, full of obscure laconisms, no ways equal to the reputation which he bore of an 
able grammarian, or to that of the good writers of the same age, Lanfrane, Adelnian, St. Anselm, &c. 
His manner of writing is altogether sophistical, very opposite to the simjilicity with which the Christian 
religion was preached by the apostles. We have extant the excellent writings of many who entered the 
lists against him ; Hugh, bishop of Langres ; Theoduin, bishop of Liege ; Eusebius Bruno, bishop of An- 
gers, (who had been some time iiis protector.) Lanfrane, Adelman, scholastic of Liege, afterwards bishop 
of Brescia, Guitmund, monk of the Cross of St. Leufroi. afterwards bishop of Aversa ; B. Maurillus, arch- 
bishop of Rouen ; Bruno, afterwards bishop of Begni ; Durand, abbot of Troarn in Normandy ; B. Whol- 
phelm, abbot of Brunvilliers, near Cologne; Ruthard, monk of Corwei, afterwards abbot of Hersfield ; 
GeotiVey of Vendome, whose first writing was a treatise on the Body of our Lord ; St. Anastasius, monk 
of St. Michael, afterwards of Cluni ; Jotsald, monk of Cluni ; Albert, monk of mount Cassino ; Ascelin, 
monk of Bee; Gozechin, scholastic of Lioge, an anonymous author published by Chifflet, &c. See the 
history of Berengarius, written by Francis le Roye, professor in law at Angers, in 4to. 1656: and by Mabil- 
lon in his Analecta, t. 2, p. 477, and again in his Acta Bened. t. 9. Fleury, Histor. Eccles. and Ceillier, t, 
20, p. 280, have followed this latter in their accounts of this famous heresiarch. Bat his history is most 
accurately given by FF. Clemencez and Ursin Durand, in their continuation of the Histoire Littiiraire de 
la France, t. 8. p. 197, wlio have pointed out and demonstrated several gross mistakes and misrepresen- 
tations of Oudin and Cave, the former in his Bibl. Scriptor. Eccles. t. 2, the latter in his Hist. Litter. 


S. LEO IX., P C. 

[April 19. 

on the resurrection on the side of his grave. Having received extreme unc- 
tion, he desired to be carried to the altar of St. Peter and set down before 
it ; where he prayed an hour prostrate : then being lifted up again upon his 
couch he heard mass, received the Viaticum, and soon after calmly expired, 
on the 19th of April, 1054, being fifty years old, and having held the pon- 
tificate five years and two months.* Miracles which followed his death, 
proclaimed his glory with God. His name is inserted in the Roman Mar- 

The devil has ever labored with so much the greater fury to rob the 
church and each particular Christian soul of the most holy sacrament of the 
altar, or at least of its fruits, as in this adorable mystery Christ has displayed 
in our favor all the riches of his mercy and love, and has bestowed on us the 
most powerful means of grace and spiritual strength. It therefore behooves 
every Christian to exert his zeal in maintaining the honor of this divine 
sacrament, and ensuring to himself and others such incomparable advantages. 
Besides the general sacred deposite of faith, here love and gratitude lay us 
under a particular obligation. St. John, the disciple of love, lays open the 
true characteristics of this adorable mystery of love by a short introduction 
to his account of the last supper, soaring above the other Evangelists, and 
penetrating into the divine sanctuary of our Lord's breast to discover the in- 
finite charity with which he was inflamed for us, and which prompted him 
to invent and institute it, saying, that Jesus, knowing the moment was come 
for his leaving us and returning to his Father, out of that love which he al- 
ways bore us, and which he continued to bear us to the end, when it ex- 
erted itself in such a wonderful manner as to seem to cast forth all its 
flames, he bequeathed us this truly divine legacy. Love called him to 
heaven for our sake, that he might prepare us places there, and send us the 
holy Paraclete to perfect the great work of our sanctification. And the 
same boundless love engaged him to exhaust, as it were, his infinite wisdom 
and power to remain always corporally among us, and most intimately unite 
himself with us, to be our comfort and strength, and that we may most per- 
fectly be animated by his spirit, and live by him. Shall we receive such a 
present with coldness and indifl"erence ? Shall we be so basely ungrateful 
to such a lover, as not to burn with zeal for the honor of this mystery of his 
love and grace, and unite ourselves to him in it by the most devout and fre- 
quent communion ; and by our continual desire, and most frequent daily 
adoration of Jesus in this holy sacrament, endeavor to make him all the 
amends we are able for the insults he receives in it, and to appropriate to 
ourselves a greater share of its treasures, by a perpetual communion as it 
were with his Holy Spirit, and a participation of all his merits, graces, treas- 
ures, satisfaction, love, and other virtues ? 

* That Leo IX. had taken the monastic habit before he was chosen bishop, Mabillon proves from these 
words of this pope in his last moments : " The cell in which I lived when a monk, I have seen changed 
into a spacious palace. Now I must enter a narrow tomb-" Mabill. t. 4, Anna!. 

April 19.] 






From his genuine life, written by Osbern, a monk of Canterbury, in 1070, but finished by Eadmer, as Mr. 
Wharton discovered, who has given us a more ample and corrtct edition of it than either the Bollandists 
or Mabillon had been able to furnish. See a short history of his martyrdom in a chronicle written in the 
reign of Henry I., in the Cottonian library. Vitellius, c. v. viii. Leland, Collect, t. 1, p. 22, and the his- 
tory of the translation of his body from London to Canterbury, among the MSS. in the Harleian library, 
Cod. G24, fol. 136, in the British Museum. 

A. D. 1012. 

St. Elphege was born of noble and virtuous parents, who gave him a 
good education. Fearing the snares of riches, he renounced the world 
while he was yet very young ; and though most dutiful to his parents in all 
other things, he in this courageously overcame the tears of his tender mo- 
ther. He served God first in the monastery of Derherste in Gloucester- 
shire. His desire of greater perfection taught him always to think that he 
had not yet begun to live to God. After some years he left Derherste, and 
built himself a cell in a desert place of the abbey of Bath, where he shut 
himself up, unknown to men, but well known to God, for whose love he 
made himself a voluntary martyr of penance. His virtue, after some time, 
shone to men the brighter through the veils of his humility, and many noble- 
men and others addressed themselves to him for instructions in the paths of 
perfection, and he was at length obliged to take upon him the direction of 
the great abbey of Bath. Perfection is more difficultly maintained in nu- 
merous houses. St. Elphege lamented bitterly the irregularities of the tepid 
among the brethren, especially little junketings, from which he in a short 
time reclaimed them ; and God, by the sudden death of one, opened the 
eyes of all the rest. The good abbot would not tolerate the least relaxation 
in his communion, being sensible how small a breach may totally destroy 
the regularity of a house. He used to say, that it would have been much 
better for a man to have stayed in the world, than to be an imperfect monk ; 
and that to wear the habit of a saint, without having the spirit, was a per- 
petual lie, and an hypocrisy which insults, but can never impose upon Al- 
mighty God. St. Ethelvvold, bishop of Winchester, dying in 984, St. Dun- 
stan being admonished by St. Andrew, in a vision, obliged our holy abbot to 
quit his solitude, and accept of episcopal consecration. The virtues of 
Elphege became more conspicuous in this high station, though he was no 
more than thirty years of age when he was first placed in it. In winter, 
how cold soever it was, he always rose at midnight, went out, and prayed a 
long time barefoot, and without his upper garment. He never ate flesh un- 
less on extraordinary occasions. He was no less remarkable for charity to 
his neighbor, than severity to himself. He accordingly provided so liberally 
for the indigences of the poor, that , during his time there were no beggars 
in the whole diocese of Winchester. The holy prelate had governed the 
see of Winchester twenty-two years with great edification, when, after the 
death of archbishop Alfric, in 1006, he was translated to that of Canterbury, 
being fifty-two years of age. He who trembled under his former burden, 
was much more terrified at the thought of the latter : but was compelled to 
acquiesce. Having been at Rome to receive his pall, he held at his return 
a great national council at Oenham, in 1009, in which thirty-two canons 
were published for the reformation of errors and abuses, and the establish- 
ment of discipline ; and, among other things, the then ancient law, com- 
manding the fast on Friday, was confirmed.' 

1 Spelman, Cone. Brit. t. 1, p. 510. 

118 S. ELPHEGE, B. M. [ApRIL 19. 

The Danes at that time made the most dreadful havoc in England. They 
landed where they pleased, and not only plundered the country, but com- 
mitted excessive barbarities on the natives, with little or no opposition from 
the weak king Ethelred. Their army being joined by the traitorous earl 
Edric, they marched out of the West into Kent, and sat down before Can- 
terbury. But before it was invested, the English nobility, perceiving the 
danger the place was in, desired the archbishop, then in the city, to provide 
for his security by flight, which he refused to do, saying, that it was the part 
only of a hireling to abandon his flock in the time of danger. During the 
siege, he olten sent out to the enemies to desire them to spare his innocent 
sheep, whom he endeavored to animate against the worst that could happen. 
And having prepared them, by his zealous exhortations, rather to suffer the 
utmost than renounce their faith, he gave them the blessed eucharist, and 
recommended them to the divine protection. While he was thus employed in 
assisting and encouraging his people, Canterbury was taken by storm. The 
infidels on entering the city made a dreadful slaughter of all that came in 
their way, without distinction of sex or age. The holy prelate was no soon- 
er apprized of the barbarity of the enemy, but breaking from the monks, who 
would have detained him in the church, where they thought he might be 
safe, he pressed through the Danish troops, and made his way to the place 
of slaughter. Then turning to the enemy, he desired them to forbear the 
massacre of his people, and rather discharge their fury upon him, crying out 
to the murderers : " Spare these innocent persons. There is no glory in 
spilling their blood. Turn your indignation rather against me. I have re- 
proached you for your cruelties : I have fed, clothed, and ransomed these 
your captives." The archbishop, talking with this freedom, was immediate- 
ly seized, and used by the Danes with all manner of barbarity. Not con- 
tent with making him the spectator of the burning of his cathedral, and the 
decimation of his monks, and of the citizens, having torn his face, beat and 
kicked him unmercifully, they laid him in irons, and confined him several 
months in a filthy dungeon. But being afllicted with an epidemical mortal 
colic in their army, and attributing this scourge to their cruel usage of the 
saint, they drew him out of prison. He prayed for them, and gave to their 
sick bread which he had blessed ; by eating this their sick recovered, 
and the calamity ceased. Their chiefs returned thanks to the servant of 
God, and deliberated about setting him at liberty, but covetousness prevail- 
ing in their council, they exacted for his ransom three thousand marks of 
gold. He said that the country was all laid waste ; moreover, that the patri-. 
raony of the poor was not to be squandered away. He therefore was bound 
again, and on Easter Sunday was brought before the commanders of their 
fleet, which then lay at Greenwich, and threatened with torments and death 
unless he paid the ransom demanded. He answered, that he had no other 
gold to off'er them than that of true wisdom, which consists in the knowledge 
and worship of the living God : which if they refused to listen to, they would 
one day fare worse than Sodom ; adding, that their empire would not long 
subsist in England. The barbarians, enraged at this answer, knocked him 
down with the backs of their battle-axes, and then stoned him. ■ The saint, 
like St. Stephen, prayed our Lord to forgive them, and to receive his soul. 
In the end, raising himself up a little, he said, " O good Shepherd ! in- 
comparable Shejflrerd ! look with compassion on the children of thy church, 
which 1, dying, recommend to thee." And here a Dane, that had been late- 
ly baptized by the saint, perceiving him agonizing and under torture, grieved 
to see him suflTer in so slow and painful a manner, to put an end to his pain, 
clove his head with his battle-axe, and gave the finishing stroke to his mar- 
tyrdom. Thus died St, Elphege, on the 19th of April, 1012, in the fifty- 

April 19.] s. ursmar, b. 119 

ninth year of his age. He was solemnly interred in the cathedral of St. 
Paul's, in London. In 1023, his body was found entire, and translated with 
honor to Canterbury: Knut, the Danish king, and Agelnoth, the archbishop, 
went with it from St. Paul's to the river : it was carried by monks down a 
narrow street to the water side, and put on board a vessel ; the king held 
the stern. Queen Emma also attended with great presents, and an incredible 
multitude of people followed the procession from London. The church of 
Canterbury, on the occasion, was most magnificently adorned. This trans- 
lation was made on the 8th of June, on which it was annually commemora- 
ted. His relics lay near the high altar till the dispersion of relics under 
Henry VIII. Hacon, Turkill, and the other Danish commanders, perished 
miserably soon after, and their numerous fleet of above two hundred sail was 
almost all lost in violent storms. St. Elphege is named in the Roman Mar- 

Our English Martyrology commemorates on the 1st of September another 
St. Elphege, surnamed the Bald, bishop of Winchester, which see he gov- 
erned from the death of St. Brynstan, in 935 to 953. He is celebrated for 
his sanctity, and a singular spirit of prophecy, of which Malmesbury gives 
some instances. 



He was born near Avesne, in Haynault, and grew up from his cradle a 
model of all virtues, in which he made a continual progress by a life of hu- 
mility, patience, and penance, and by an assiduous application to prayer, in 
which he usually shed abundance of tears. What he most earnestly asked 
of God was the gift of an ardent charity, that all his thoughts and actions, 
and those of all men, might, with the most pure and fervent intention, and 
in the most perfect manner, be directed in all things to fulfil his holy and 
adorable will. In his conversation it was his earnest desire and drift to in- 
duce persons of a secular life to fix their thoughts, as much as the condi- 
tion of their state would allow, on heavenly things ; and to accompany even 
their worldly business with such aspirations and thoughts, and to study to 
withdraw their hearts from all attachment to creatures. St. Landelin had 
then lately founded the abbey of Lobes, on the Sambre, in a territory which 
is now subject to the prince of Liege, though in the diocese of Cambray. 
Ursmar here put on the monastic habit. When St. Landelin retired into a 
closer solitude, where he soon after built the monastery of Crespin, he left 
Ursmar abbot of Lobes, in 686. Our saint redoubled his fervor in all the 
exercises of penance in this dignity. He never tasted any flesh-meat or 
fish, and for ten years never once touched bread, not even in a dangerous 
sickness. He finished the building of his abbey and church, and founded 
Aune and several other monasteries. He often left his dear cell to preach 
the faith to idolaters and sinners. He became the apostle of several dis- 
tricts in the dioceses of Cambray, Arras, Tournay, Noyon, Terouanne, Laon, 
Metz, Triers, Cologne, and Maestricht. By virtue of a commission from 
the holy see, he exercised the functions of a bishop : his predecessor, St. 
Landelin, and his two successors, SS. Ermin and Theodulph, were invest- 
ed with the same character. In his old age he resigned his abbacy to St. 
Ermin, and died in retirement in 713, being almost sixty-nine years old, on 
the 18th day of April, on which he is honored as principal patron at Binche, 
Lobes, and Luxembourg; but is named on the 19th, which was the day of 

120 ~ s. AGNES, V. A. [April 20. 

his burial, in the Roman and several other Martyrologies. His relics are 
venerated at Binche, four leagues from Mons. See his original life by a dis- 
ciple, with the notes of Henschenius : also Folcuin, abbot of Laubes, in 
980, in his accurate history of The Gests of the Abbots of Laubes, publish- 
ed by D'Achery, Spicileg. t. 6, p. 541. See also Folcuin's appendix on the 
miracles wrought at the shrine of St. Ursmar, under the author's own eyes, 
ib., and in the BoUandists, 18 Apr. p. 564, and another life of this saint com- 
posed in heroic verse by Heriger, abbot of Laubes, in the year 1000. 




From her life, written by F. Raymund of Capua, general of the Dominicans, thirty years after her death, 
with the remarks of F. Papebroke, Apr. t. 2, p. 791. Also her life, compiled from authentic instruments, 
by F. Laurence Surdini Mariani, in 1606 ; and in French, by F. Roux, at Paris, in 1728. 

A. D. 1317. 

This holy virgin was a native of Monte Pulciano, in Tuscany. She had 
scarce attained to the use of reason, when she conceived an extraordinary 
relish and ardor for prayer, and in her infancy often spent whole hours in 
reciting the Our Father and Hail Mary, on her knees, in some private cor- 
ner of a chamber. At nine years of age she was placed by her parents in 
a convent of Sackins, of the order of St. Francis, so called from their habit, 
or at least their scapular, being made of sackcloth. Agnes, in so tender an 
age, was a model of all virtues to this austere community : and she re- 
nounced the world, though of a plentiful fortune, being sensible of its dan- 
gers before she knew what it was to enjoy it. At fifteen years of age she 
was removed to a new foundation of the order of St. Dominic, at Proceno, 
in the county of Orvieto, an,d appointed abbess by pope Nicholas IV. She 
slept on the ground, with a stone under her head in lieu of a pillow ; and 
for fifteen years she fasted always on bread and water, till she was obliged 
by her directors, on account of sickness, to mitigate her austerities. Her 
townsmen, earnestly desiring to be possessed of her again, demolished a 
lewd house, and erected upon the spot a nunnery, which they bestowed on 
her. This prevailed on her to return, and she established in this house 
nuns of the order of St. Dominic, which rule she herself professed. The 
gifts of miracles and prophecy rendered her famous among men, though hu- 
mility, charity, and patience under her long sicknesses, were the graces 
which recommended her to God. She died at Monte Pulciano, on the 20th 
of April, 1317, being forty-three years old. Her body was removed to the 
Dominicans' church of Orvieto, in 1435, where it remains. Clement VIII. 
approved her office for the use of the order of St. Dominic, and inserted her 
name in the Roman Martyrology. She was solemnly canonized by Bene- 
dict XIII. in 1726. 

April 20.] s. james, c. 121 


First bishop and apostle of the isles of Orkney, and disciple of St. Pal- 
ladius, whose apostolic spirit he inherited. He flourished in the fifth cen- 
tury. See Lesley, 1. 4 ; Hist. Scot. Arnoldus, in Theatro Conversionis Gen- 
tium ; King, &c. 


Though a native of Dalmatia, from which country he received his sur- 
name, he spent the chief part of his life on the opposite coast of the Adriatic 
Sea, in Italy, where he embraced with great fervor the humble and peniten- 
tial state of a lay-brother among the Observantin Franciscan friars at Bitec- 
to, a small town nine miles from Bari. By an eminent spirit of compunc- 
tion, humility, self-denial, and heavenly contemplation, he seemed not to fall 
short in fervor of the greatest lights of his order. He was seen by a fellow- 
friar, whose testimony is produced in the process for his canonization, raised 
in body from the ground at prayer, and many predictions, authentically 
proved, show him to have been often favored by God with a prophetic spirit. 
He was sometimes removed to other neighboring convents of his order, and 
he was for some years employed in quality of cook in that of Conversano, 
eighteen miles from Bari. In this office, from the presence and sight of a 
temporal fire, he took occasion sometimes to contemplate the everlasting fire 
of hell, and at other times to soar in spirit above the highest heavens, to the 
source of infinite love which burns through all eternity, begging some spark 
to be kindled in his breast from this divine flame, which darts its rays on all 
creatures, though many unhappily shut their hearts to them, and receive not 
their influence. In such contemplation he often fell into ecstasies in the 
midst of his work, and stood for some time motionless and entirely absorbed 
in God. One morning while he was making ready a mess of beans for his 
community's dinner, he happened to be thus ravished in spirit, and stood for 
a considerable time with his hand in the beans, having his mind absorbed in 
God, and tears streaming from his eyes, fell into the vessel of beans before 
him. The duke of Adria, or Atria, in whose estate Conversano was com- 
prised, and who often retired from the court of king Ferdinand I. to pass 
some months in the country, coming to this convent, passed through the 
kitchen, and saw the holy brother in this wonderful rapture. He stood some 
time in great surprise, and said, " Blessed are the religious brethren whose 
meals are seasoned with such tears." After he was gone from the place, 
James came to himself, and being informed that so great a guest was come, 
he went to ask the duke what he was pleased to order to be dressed for his 
dinner. " I will eat nothing," said the duke, " but some of the beans which 
have been seasoned with your tears." Which answer gave the saint ex- 
treme confusion. The duke took every occasion of testifying his extraor- 
dinary veneration for his sanctity. St. James was sent back by his superi- 
ors to Bitecto, and there closed a holy life by a most happy death, in 1485, 
on the 27lh of April : but his festival occurs on the 20th in the Martyrology 
published by pope Benedict XIV. for the use of his order. His body re- 
mains uncorrupted at Bitecto, and an account of many miracles wrought 
through his intercession, is collected from authentic vouchers by Papebroke, 
in April, t. 3, p. 527. 

VOL. 11. — 16 



[April 21. 




From his life, written by Eadmer his disciple, in two hooks ; also the same author's history of Novelties, 
in six books, from the year 1066 to 1122 ; and a poem on the miracles of St. Anselm, probably by the 
same writer, published by Martenne, Ampliss. CoUectio, t. 6, p. 983, 987. The principal memorials re- 
lating to St. Anselm are collected in the Benedictin edition of his works ; from which a short abstract is 
here given. See Gallia Christ. Nova. t. II, p. 223 ; Ceillier, t. 21, p. 267. 

A. D. 1109. 

If the Norman conquerors stripped the English nation of its liberty, and 
many temporal advantages, it must be owned that by their valor they raised 
the reputation of its arms, and deprived their own country of its greatest 
men, both in church and state, with whom they adorned this kingdom : of 
which this great doctor, and his master, Lanfranc, are instances. St. An- 
selm was born of noble parents, at Aoust, in Piedmont, about the year 1033. 
His pious mother took care to give him an early tincture of piety, and the 
impressions her instructions made upon him were as lasting as his life. At 
the age of fifteen, desirous of serving God in the monastic state, he petition- 
ed an abbot to admit him into his house : but was refused out of apprehen- 
sion of his father's displeasure. Neglecting, during the course of his stu- 
dies, to cuUivate the divine seed in his heart, he lost this inclination, and, 
his mother being dead, he fell into tepidity ; and, without being sensible of 
the fatal tendency of^vanity and pleasure, began to walk in the broad way 
of the world : so dangerous a thing is it to neglect the inspirations of grace ! 
The saint, in his genuine meditations, expresses the deepest sentiments of 
compunction for these disorders, which his perfect spirit of penance exceed- 
ingly exaggerated to him, and which, like another David, he never ceased 
most bitterly to bewail to the end of his days. The ill usage he met with 
from his father, induced him, after his mother's death, to leave his own 
country, where he had made a successful beginning in his studies ; and, 
after a diligent application to them for three years in Burgundy, (then a dis- 
tinct government,) and in France, invited by the great fame of Lanfranc, prior 
of Bee, in Normandy, under the abbot Herluin, he went thither and became 
his scholar.* On his father's death, Anselm advised with him about the 
state of life he was to embrace ; as whether he should live upon his estate 
to employ its produce in alms, or should renounce it at once and embrace a 
monastic and eremitical life. Lanfranc, feeling an overbearing affection for 
so promising a disciple, durst not advise him in his vocation, fearing the bias 
of his own inclination ; but he sent him to Maurillus, the holy archbishop 
of Rouen. By him Anselm, after he had laid open to him his, interior, was 
determined to enter the monastic state at Bee, and accordingly became a 
member of that house, at the age of twenty-seven, in 1060, under the abbot 

* The venerable abbot Herluin, after having commanded in the armies with great valor and reputation, 
renounced the world, founded this abbey upon his own manor of Bee, about the year 1040, and was chosen 
the first abbot. MabiUon has given us his edifying life, but could not find sufficient proof that he was 
ever honored in the cliurch as a saint. In the calendar of Bee his festival is marked a double of the first 
class on the 26th of August : but the mass is sung in honor of the Blessed Trinity. Among the MSS. of 
this house are two lives of this its founder. To one of them is annexed a MS. modern dissertation, in 
which the anonymous author pretends to prove that Herluin was honored among the saints, and that a 
chapel in that monastery, which is now destroyed, was dedicated to God under his invocation. See the 
lives of Herluin in the library of MSS. at Bee, n. 128 and 140; also Chronicon Becense, n. 141. 

April 21. J 



Herluin. Three years after, Lanfranc was made abbot of St. Stephen's, at 
Caen, and Anselm prior of Bee* At this promotion several of the monks 
murmured on account of his youth ; but, by patience and sweetness, he won 
the afFections of them all, and by little condescensions at first so worked 
upon an irregular young monk, called Osbern, as to perfect his conversion, 
and make him one of the most fervent. He had indeed so great a know- 
ledge of the hearts and passions of men, that he seemed to read their in- 
terior in their actions ; by which he discovered the sources of virtues and 
vices, and knew how to adapt to each proper advice and instructions ; which 
were rendered most powerful by the mildness and charity with which he 
applied them. And in regard to the management and tutoring of youth, he 
looked upon excessive severity as highly pernicious. Eadraer has recorded 
a conversation he had on this subject with a neighboring abbot,' who, by a 
conformity to our saint's practice and advice in this regard, experienced that 
success in his labors which he had till then aspired to in vain, by harshness 
and severity. 

St. Anselm applied himself diligently to the study of every part of the- 
ology, by the clear light of scripture and tradition. While he was prior at 
Bee, he wrote his Monologium, so called, because in this work he speaks 
alone, explaining the metaphysical proofs of the existence and nature of God. 
Also his Proslogium, or contemplation of God's attributes, in which he ad- 
dresses his discourse to God, or himself. The Meditations, commonly called 

1 N. 30. 

* Lanfranc was born at Pavia, in Lombardy, of a noble family, about the year J005 ; studied eloquence 
and the laws at Bologna, and was professor of laws In his native city. This charge he resigned in order 
to travel into Normandy, where he made his monastic profession at Bee, under Herluin, the first ablwt, 
about the year 1042, Henry I. being king of France, and William the Bastard, duke of Normandy. Three 
years after he was made prior, and commenced a great school in that monastery, which, by his extraordi- 
nary reputation, soon became the most famous at that time in Europe. Berengarius, prolessor at Tours, 
and archdeacon of Angers, matle great complaints against him, because several had left his school to go 
to Bee. When that unhappy professor broached his errors concerning the Blessed Eucharist, Lanfranc 
invited him often to a conference, which Berengarius declined. He assisted at the council of Rheims, in 
1049, held by St. Leo IX., and attended that pope to Rome, and was present at the council there in which 
Berengarius was excommunicated, and at that of Vercelli. Duke William married his cousin Maud, 
daughter to Baldwin, count of Flanders, without a dispensation ; but Nicholas IL afterwards granted one 
at the solicitation of Lanfranc, whom the duke sent to Rome on that errand. In that city he attended the 
council in which Berengarius solenmly abjured his errors. Al"ter his relapse, he wrote against him 
(whether at Bee or at Caen is uncertain) his excellent book On the Body of our Lord. The conditions 
which the pope required, in compensation for the dispensation for the duke's marriage, was, that he and 
the duchess should each found a monastery, the one for monks and the other for nuns. This they execu- 
ted, in the most magnificent manner, in the abbeys of St. Stephen and of Holy Trinity, at Caen, In 1059. 
The buildings being finished in 1063, Lanfranc was appointed first abbot of the former, whither pope 
Alexander II., who had been his scholar at Bee, sent some of his relations to stndy in the great school 
which he opened in this new abbey. Lanfranc had obstinately refused the archbishopric of Rouen in 
1067, but was compelled, by the orders of two councils and abbot Herluin, to accept that of Canterbury in 
1070. The pope appointed him legate in England, and the archbishop reformed the clergy, the monasteries, 
and the laity, and restored the studies both of the sacred sciences, eloquence, and grammar. He is allowed 
by all to have been the ablest dialectician, and the most eloquent Latin writer of Ills age ; nor was he less 
famous for his skill in the scriptures, fathers, and canon law. King William, .as often as he went into 
Normandy, charged him with the chief care of the government in England, and by that prince's last dis- 
position, and his express order before his death, Lanfranc crowned his younger son, William Rufus, on the 
29th of September, 1087. He survived two years, his death happening on the 28th of May, 1089, in the 
nineteenth year of his arohiepiscopal dignity. He was buried in Christ-Church at Canterbury. 

His genuine commentary on St. Paul's epistles, Mabillon was possessed of, and promised to publish, but 
was prevented by death ; that given by D'Achery upon this subject is certainly not his. His statutes for 
the Benedictin order in England, published by Dom. Reyner, the first abbot of Lumbspring ; his notes upon 
Cassian's conferences, with his treatise against Berengarius, and sixty letters, make np the most correct 
edition of his works given by Luke D'Achery, with useful notes, in one volume, in folio, in 1648, and in 
the last edition of the Bibliotheca Patrum. To these we may add his discourse in the council of Win- 
chester, in 1076. Also his Sentences, an excellent ascetic work for the use of monks, discovered by Dom. 
Luke D'Achery twelve years after the publication of his works, and published by him in the fourth tome 
of his Spicilege, and inserted t. 18, Biblioth. Patr. p. 83. The treatise On the Secret of Confession, by 
some attributed to Lanfranc, seems not to be his genuine work. His Conunents on the Psalms, his His- 
tory of William the Conqueror, or rather panegyric, and some other works, quoted by several writers un- 
der his name, seem lost. We have his life written by Milo Crespin, a monk of Bee, his contemporary, in 
the Chronicle of Bee, and Eadmer's Hist. Novorum, &c. Other monuments relating to his history, are 
collected by Luke D'Achery and Mabillon. Capgrave and Trithemius honor him with the title of saint 
on the 28th of May, on which day his life is given in Britannia Sancta. But it is certiiin that no marks of 
such an honor have ever been allowed to his memory, either at Canterbury, Caen, or Bee, nor, as it seems, 
in any other church : and William Thorn's chronicle is a proof that all had not an equal idea of his 
extraordinary sanctity. His memory is justly vindicated against sojne moderns, by Wharton, in his Anglia 
Sacra. On Lanfranc, see Ceillier, t, 21, p. 1 ; Hist. Litt6r. de la France, t. 10, p. 260. 

124 S. ANSELM, B. C. [ApRIL 21. 

the Manual of St. Austin, are chiefly extracted out of this book. It was cen- 
sured by a neighboring monk, which occasioned the saint's Apology. These, 
and other the like works, show the author to have excelled in metaphysics 
all the doctors of the church since St. Austin. He likewise wrote, while 
prior. On Truth, On Freewill, and On the Fall of the Devil, or, On the Origin 
of Evil : also his Grammarian, which is, in reality, a treatise on Dialectics, 
or the art of reasoning. 

Anselm's reputation drew to Bee great numbers from all the neighboring 
kingdoms. Herluin dying in 1078, he was chosen abbot of Bee, being forty- 
five years old, of which he had been prior fifteen. The abbey of Bee being 
possessed at that time of some lands in England, this obliged the abbot to 
make his appearance there in person, at certain times. This occasioned our 
saint's first journeys thither, which his tender regard for his old friend Lan- 
franc, at that time archbishop of Canterbury, made the more agreeable. He 
was received with great honor and esteem by all ranks of people, both in 
church and state ; and there was no one who did not think it a real misfor- 
tune, if he had not been able to serve him in something or other. King 
William himself, whose title of Conqueror rendered him haughty and inac- 
cessible to his subjects, was so affable to the good abbot of Bee, that he 
seemed to be another man in his presence. The saint, on his side, was all 
to all, by courtesy and charity, that he might find occasions of giving every 
one some suitable instructions to promote their salvation ; which were so 
much the more eff'ectual, as he communicated them, not as some do with the 
dictatorial air of a master, but in a simple familiar manner, or by indirect, 
though sensible examples. In the year 1092, Hugh, the great earl of Ches- 
ter, by three pressing messages, entreated Anselm to come again into Eng- 
land, to assist him, then dangerously sick, and to give his advice about the 
foundation of a monastery which that nobleman had undertaken at St. Were- 
burge's church at Chester. A report that he would be made archbishop of 
Canterbury, in the room of Lanfranc, deceased, made him stand off" for some 
time ; but he could not forsake his old friend in his distress, and at last came 
over. He found him recovered, but the affairs of his own abbey, and of that 
which the earl was erecting, detained him five months in England. The 
metropolitan see of Canterbury had been vacant ever since the death of Lan- 
franc, in 1089. The sacrilegious and tyrannical king, William Rufus, who 
succeeded his father in 1087, by an injustice unknown till his time, usurped 
the revenues of vacant benefices, and deferred his permission, or Conge 
d'elire, in order to the filling the episcopal sees, that he might the longer 
enjoy their income. Having thus seized into his hands the revenues of the 
archbishopric, he reduced the monks of Canterbury to a scanty allowance : 
oppressing them moreover by his officers with continual insults, threats, and 
vexations. He had been much solicited, by the most virtuous among the 
nobility, to supply the see of Canterbury, in particular, with a person proper 
for that station ; but continued deaf to all their remonstrances, and answered 
them at Christmas, 1093, that neither Anselm nor any other should have that 
bishopric while he lived ; and this he swore to by the holy face of Lucca, 
meaning a great crucifix in the cathedral of that city, held in singular vene- 
ration, his usual oath. He was seized soon after with a violent fit of sick- 
ness, which in a few days brought him to extremity. He was then at Glou- 
cester, and seeing himself in this condition, signed a proclamation, which 
was published, to release all those that had been taken prisoners in the field, 
to discharge all debts owing to the crown, and to grant a general pardon : 
promising likewise to govern according to law, and to punish the instruments 
of injustice with exemplary severity. He moreover nominated Anselm to 
the see of Canterbury, at which all were extremely satisfied but the good 

April 21.] 



abbot himself, who made all the decent opposition imaginable ; alleging his 
age, his want of health and vigor enough for so weighty a charge, his unfit- 
ness for the management of public and secular affairs, which he had always 
declined to ihe best of his power. The king was extremely concerned at 
his opposition, and asked him why he endeavored to ruin him in the other 
world, beinsf convinced that he should lose his soul in case he died before 
the archbishopric was filled. The king was seconded by the bishops and 
others present, who not only told him they were scandalized at his refusal, 
but added, that, if he persisted in it, all the grievances of the church and 
nation would be placed to his account. Thereupon they forced a pastoral 
staff into his hands, in the king's presence, carried him into the church, and 
sung Te Deum on the occasion. This was on the 6th of March, 1093. 
He still declined the charge, till the king had promised him the restitution 
of all the lands that were in the possession of that see in Lanfranc's time. 
Anselm also insisted that he should acknowledge Urban II. for lawful pope. 
Things being thus adjusted, Anselm was consecrated with great solemnity 
on the 4th of December, 1093. 

Anselm had not been long in possession of the see of Canterbury, when 
the king, intending to wrest the duchy of Normandy out of the hands of his 
brother Robert, made large demands on his subjects for supplies. On this 
occasion, not content with the five hundred pounds (a very large sum in 
those days) offered him by the archbishop, the king insisted, at the instiga- 
tion of some of his courtiers, on a thousand, for his nomination to the arch- 
bishopric, which Anselm constantly refused to pay : pressing him also to fill 
vacant abbeys, and to consent that the bishops should hold councils as for- 
merly, and be allowed by canons to repress crimes and abuses, which were 
multiplied, and passed into custom, for want of such a remedy, especially 
incestuous marriages and other abominable debaucheries. The king was 
extremely provoked, and declared no one should extort from him his abbeys 
any more than his crown.* And from that day he sought to deprive Anselm 
of his see. William, bishop of Durham, and the other prelates, acquiesced 
readily in the king's orders, by which he forbade them to obey him as their 
primate, or treat him as archbishop, alleging for reason that he obeyed pope 
Urban, during the schism, whom the English nation had not acknowledged. 
The king, having brought over most of the bishops to his measures, applied 
to the temporal nobility, and bid them disclaim the archbishop : but they 
resolutely answered, that since he was their archbishop, and had a right to 
superintend the affairs of religion, it was not in their power to disengage 
themselves from his authority, especially as there was no crime or misde- 
meanor proved against him. King William then, by his ambassador, 
acknowledged Urban for true pope, and promised him a yearly pension from 
England, if he would depose Anselm ; but the legate, whom his holiness 
sent, told the king that it was what could not be done. St. Anselm wrote 
to the pope to thank him for the pall he had sent him by that legate, com- 
plaining of the affliction in which he lived under a burden too heavy for him 
to bear, and regretting the tranquillity of his solitude which he had lost.^ 
Finding the king always seeking occasions to oppress his church, unless he 
fed him with its treasures, which he regarded as the patrimony of the poor, 
(though he readily furnished his contingent in money and troops to his expe- 
ditions and to all public burdens,) the holy prelate earnestly desired to leave 
England, that he might apply, in person, to the pope for his counsel and as- 

2 B. 3, ep. 37. 


* He did not think himself a complete monarch, as Eadmer says, unless he melted the mitre into the 
crown, and engrossed the possession of all jurisdiction, both spiritual and temporal, p. 28. ' 



[April 21. 

sistance. The king refused him twice : and, on his applying to him a third 
time, he assured the saint that, if he left that kingdom, he would seize upon 
the whole revenue of the see of Canterbury, and that he should never more 
be acknowledged metropolitan. But the saint, being persuaded he could 
-not in conscience abide any longer in the realm, to be a witness of the op- 
pression of the church, and not have it in his power to remedy it, set out 
from Canterbury, in October, 1097, in the habit of a pilgrim ; took shipping 
at Dover, and landed at Witsan, having with him two monks, Eadmer, who 
wrote his life, and Baldwin. He made some stay at Cluni with St. Hugh, 
the abbot, and at Lyons with the good archbishop Hugh. It not being safe 
travelling any further towards Rome at that time, on account of the antipope's 
party lying in the way ; and Anselm falling sick soon after, this made it 
necessary for him to stay longer at Lyons than he had designed. However, 
he left that city the March following, in 1098, on the pope's invitation, and 
was honorably received by him. His holiness, having heard his cause, as- 
sured him of his protection, and wrote to the king of England for his re- 
establishraent in his rights and possessions. Anselm also wrote to the king 
at the same time ; and, after ten days' stay in the pope's palace, retired to 
the monastery of St. Saviour in Calabria, the air of Rome not agreeing with 
his health. Here he finished his work entitled, Why God was made Man ; 
in two books, showing, against infidels, the wisdom, justice, and expediency 
of the mystery of the incarnation for man's redemption. He had begun this 
work in England, where he also wrote his book On the Faith of the Trinity 
and Incarnation, dedicated to pope Urban II., in which he refuted Roscelin, 
the master, Peter Abailard, who maintained an erroneous opinion in regard 
to the Trinity. Anselm, charmed with the sweets of his retirement, and 
despairing of doing any good at Canterbury, hearing by new instances that 
the king was still governed by his passions, in open defiance to justice and 
religion, earnestly entreated the pope, whom he met at Aversa, to discharge 
him of his bishopric ; believing he might be more serviceable to the world 
in a private station. The pope would by no means consent, but charged him 
upon his obedience not to quit his station : adding, that it was not the part of 
a man of piety and courage to be frightened from his post purely by the dint 
of browbeating and threats, that being all the harm he had hitherto received. 
Anselm replied, that he was not afraid of suffering, or even losing his life 
in the cause of God ; but that he saw there was nothing to be done in a 
country where justice was so overruled as it was in England. However, 
Anselm submitted, and in the mean time returned to his retirement, which 
was a cell called Slavia, situated on a mountain, depending on the monastery 
of St. Saviour. That he might live in the merit of obedience, he prevailed 
with the pope to appoint the monk Eadmer, his inseparable companion, to be 
his superior, nor did he do the least thing without his leave. 

The pope having called a council, which was to meet at Bari, in Octo- 
ber, 1098, in order to effect a reconciliation of the Greeks with the Catholic 
church, ordered the saint to be present at it. It consisted of one hundred 
and tv/enty-lhree bishops. The Greeks having proposed the question about 
the procession of the Holy Ghost, whether this was from the Father only, 
or from the Father and the Son ; the disputation being' protracted, the pope 
called aloud for Anselm, saying, " Anselm, our father and our master, where 
are you ?" And causing him to sit next to him, told him that the present occa- 
sion required his learning and elocution to defend the church against her 
enemies, and that he thought God had brought him thither for that purpbse. 
Anselm spoke to the point with so much learning, judgment, and penetra- 
tion, that he silenced the Greeks, and gave such a general satisfaction, that 
all present joined in pronouncing anathema against those that should after- 

April 21.] s. anselm, b. c. 127 

wards deny the procession of the Holy Ghost from both the Father and the 
Son. This affair being at an end, the proceedings of the king of England 
fell next under debate. And on this occasion his simony, his oppressions of 
the church, his persecution of Anselm, and his incorrigibleness, after fre- 
quent admonitions, were so strongly represented, that the pope, at the in- 
stance of the council, was just going to pronounce him excommunicated. 
Anselm had hitherto sat silent, but at this he rose up, and casting himself on 
his knees before the pope, entreated him to stop the censure. And now the 
council, who had admired our saint for his parts and learning, were further 
charmed with him on account of his humane and Christian disposition, in 
behalf of one that had used him so roughly. The saint's petition in behalf 
of his sovereign was granted ; and, on the council breaking up, the pope 
and Anselm returned to Rome. The pope, however, sent to the king a 
threat of excommunication, to be issued in a council to be shortly after held 
at Rome, unless he made satisfaction : but the king, by his ambassador, ob- 
tained a long delay. Anselm stayed some time at Rome with the pope, who 
always placed him next in rank to himself. All persons, even the schis- 
matics, loved and honored him ; and he assisted with distinction at the coun- 
cil of Rome, held after Easter, in 1099. Immediately after the Roman 
council he returned to Lyons, where he was entertained by the archbishop 
Hugh, with all the cordiality and regard imaginable ; but saw no hopes of 
recovering his see so long as king William lived. Here he wrote his book. 
On the Conception of the Virgin, and On Original Sin, resolving many ques- 
tions relating to that sin. The archbishop of Lyons gave him in all func- 
tions the precedence, and all thought themselves happy who could receive 
any sacrament from his hands. Upon the death of Urban II., he wrote an 
account of his case to his successor, Pascal II. King William Rufus being 
snatched away by sudden death, without the sacraments, on the 2d of Au- ' 
gust, 1100, St. Anselm, who was then in the abbey of Chaize-Dieu, in 
Auvergne, lamented bitterly his unhappy end, and made haste to England, 
whither he was invited by king Henry I. He landed at Dover on the 23d 
of September, and was received with great joy and extraordinary respect. 
And having in a few days recovered the fatigue of his journey, he went to wait 
on the king, who received him very graciously. But this harmony was of 
no long continuance. The new king required of Anselm to be reinvested 
by him, and do the customary homage of his predecessors for his see ; but 
the saint absolutely refused to comply, and made a report of the proceedings 
of the late synod at Rome, in which the laity that gave investitures for ab- 
beys or cathedrals were excommunicated ; and those that received such 
investitures were put under the same censure. But this not satisfying the 
king, it was agreed between them to consult the pope upon the subject. 
The court in the mean time was very much alarmed at the preparations ma- 
king by the king's elder brother, Robert, duke of Normandy ; who, being re- 
turned from the holy war in Palestine, claimed the crown of England, and 
threatened to invade the land. The nobles, though they had sworn alle- 
giance to Henry, were ready enough to join him ; and, on his landing with 
a formidable army at Portsmouth, several declared for the duke. The king 
being in great danger of losing his crown, was very liberal in promises to 
Anselm on this occasion ; assuring him that he would henceforward leave 
the business of religion wholly to him, and be always governed by the ad- 
vice and orders of the apostolic see. Anselm omitted nothing on his side to 
prevent a revolt from the king. Not content with sending his quota of arm- 
ed men, he strongly represented to the disaffected nobles the heinousness of 
their crime of perjury, and that they ought rather lose their lives than break 
through their oaths, and fail in their sworn allegiance to their prince. He 



[April 21. 

also published an excommunication against Robert, as an invader, who there- 
upon came to an accommodation with Henry, and left England. And thus, 
as Eadmer relates, the archbishop, strengthening the king's party, kept the 
crown upon his head. Amidst his troubles and public distractions, he reti- 
red often in the day to his devotions, and watched long in them in the night. 
At his meals, and at all times, he conversed interiorly in heaven. One day, 
as he was riding to his manor of Herse, a hare, pursued by the dogs, ran 
under his horse for refuge : at which the saint stopped, and the hounds stood 
at bay. The hunters laughed, but the saint said, weeping, " This hare puts 
me in mind of a poor sinner just upon the point of departing this life, sur- 
rounded with devils, waiting to carry away their prey." The hare going off, 
he forbade her to be pursued, and was obeyed, not a hound stirring after her. 
In like manner, every object served to raise his mind to God, with whom he 
always conversed in his heart, and, in the midst of noise and tumult, he en- 
joyed the tranquillity of holy contemplation ; so strongly was his soul se- 
questered from, and raised above the world. 

King Henry, though so much indebted to Anselm, still persisted in his 
claim of the right of giving the investitures of benefices. Anselm, in 1102, 
held a national council in St. Peter's church at Westminster, in which, 
among other things, it was forbid to sell men like cattle, which had till then 
been practised in England ; and many canons relating to discipline were 
drawn up. He persisted to refuse to ordain bishops, named by the king, 
without a canonical election. The contest became every day more serious. 
At last, the king and nobles persuaded Anselm to go in person, and consult 
the pope about the matter : the king also sent a deputy to his holiness. The 
saint embarked on the 27th of April, in 1103. Pope Paschal II. condemned 
the king's pretensions to the investitures, and excommunicated those who 
should receive church dignities from him. St. Anselm being advanced, on 
his return to England, as far as Lyons, received there an intimation of an or- 
der from king Henry, forbidding him to proceed on his journey home, unless 
he would conform to his will. He therefore remained at Lyons, where he 
was much honored by his old friend, the archbishop Hugh. From thence 
he retired to his abbey of Bee, where he received from the pope a commis- 
sion to judge the cause of the archbishop of Rouen, accused of several 
crimes. He was also allowed to receive into communion such as had ac- 
cepted investitures from the crown, which, though still disallowed of, the 
bishops and abbots were so far dispensed with as to do homage for their 
temporalities. The king was so pleased with this condescension of the 
pope, that he sent immediately to Bee, to invite St. Anselm home in the 
most obliging manner, but a grievous sickness detained him. " The king 
coming over into Normandy in 1106, articles of agreement were drawn up be- 
tween him and the archbishop, at Bee, pursuant to the letter St. Anselm had 
received from Rome a few months before : and the pope very readily con- 
firmed the agreement. In this expedition, Henry defeated his brother 
Robert, and sent him prisoner into England, where he died. St. Anselm 
hereupon returned to England, in 1106, and was received by the queen 
Maud, who came to meet him, and by the whole kingdom of England, as it 
were, in triumph.* 

* His exterior occupations did not hinder him from continuing to employ his pen in defence of the church. 
Towards the end of his life, he wrote a book, On the Will, showing its different acceptations: also his 
learned treatise. On the Concord of Divine Foreknowledge, Predestination, and Grace with Free-will ; and 
a tract. On Azymes, against the Greeks : another, On the difference of the Sacraments, viz., in the Latin 
an<l Greek Ceremonies ; and a work, On the prohibited Marriages of Relations. His epistles are divided 
into fmir books : the first contains those which he wrote before he was abbot : the second those while he 
was abbot : the third and fourth those he wrote while archbishop. The Elucidarium on theology is un- 
worthy his name, though it has sometimes passed under it by mistake : as have the discourse on the Con- 
ception of the Blessed Virgin : and the Commentaries on St. Paul's Epistles, by Hervaeus, a Benedictin 
monk, prior of Bourg-Dieu, in Berry, in 1140. (See D'Achery, Spicileg. t. 3, p. 4tJl.) The poem, On the 

April 21.] 



The last years of his life, his health was entirely broken. Having for 
six months labored under a hectic decay, with an entire loss of appetite, 
under which disorder he would be carried every day to assist at holy mass : 
he happily expired, laid on sackcloth and ashes, at Canterbury, on the 21st 
of April, 1109, in the sixteenth year of his episcopal dignity, and of his age 
the seventy-sixth. He was buried in his cathedral. By a decree of Clem- 
ent XL, 1720,^ he is honored among the doctors of the church. We have 
authentic accounts of many miracles wrought by this saint in the histories 
of Eadmer and others. 

St. Anselm had a most lively faith of all the mysteries and great truths 
of our holy religion ; . and by the purity of his heart, and an interior divine 
light, he discovered great secrets in the holy scriptures, and had a wonder- 
ful talent in explaining difficulties which occur in them. His hope for heav- 
enly things gave him a wonderful contempt and disgust of the vanities of 
the world, and he could truly say with the apostle, he was crucified to the 
world, and all its desires. By an habitual mortification of his appetite in 
eating and drinking, he seemed to have lost all relish in the nourishment 
which he took. His fortitude was such, that no human respects, or other 
considerations, could ever turn him out of the way of justice and truth ; and 
his charity for his neighbor seemed confined by no bounds : his words, his 
writings, his whole life breathed forth this heavenly fire. He seemed to 
live, says his faithful disciple and historian, not for himself, but for others ; 
or rather so much the more for himself by how much the more profitable his 
life was to his neighbors, and faithful to his God, The divine love and 
law were the continual subjects of his meditations day and night. He had 
a singular devotion to the passion of our Lord, and to his Virgin mother. 
Her image at Bee, before which, at her altar, he daily made long prayers 
while he lived in that monastery, is religiously kept in the new sumptuous 
church. His horror of the least sin is nof to be expressed. In his Pros- 
logium, meditations, and other ascetic works, the most heroic and inflamed 

3 BuUar. Eom. t. 1, p. 441, and Clemens XI. Op. t. 2, p. 1215. 

Contempt of the World, is the work of Roger of Caen, monk of Bee, while St. Anselm was prior ; as Ma- 
biilon shows. (Annal. 1. 65. n. 41, p. 134, and CeiUier, t. 21, p. 305.) The treatise on the Excellence of the 
Blessed Virgin, was written by Eadmer, the disciple of our saint, who died prior at Canterbury in 1137. St. 
Anselm, in his dogmatical writings, sticks close to the fathers, especially to St. Austin. He gathers the 
doctrine of the points he treats of into a regular system, in a clear method, and a chain of close reasoning: 
the method which St. John Damascen had followed among the Greeks, in his books on the Orthodo.t 
Faith, and which among the Latins, Peter Lombard, bishop of Paris, (from his Abridgment of Divinity, 
which was called his four books of Sentences, surnamed the Master of the Sentences,) and all the school- 
men have followed ever since. Whence St. Anselm is regarded as the first of the scholastic theologians, 
as St. Bernard closes the list of the fathers of the church. Dom. Gerberon published an abridgment of St. 
Anselin's doctrine, entitled S. Anseluius per se docens, in 12mo. An. 1G92. Dom. Joseph Saens (cardinal 
d'Aguirre) gave commentaries on St. Anselm's dogmatical works, under the title of Theologia S. Anselmi, 
printed in three volumes in folio, at Salamanca, in JIJTO, and with corrections and additions at Rome, in 
1688. He intended a fourth volume on the Saint's Praj^ers and Meditations ; which he never executed. 
This work was dedicated to pope Innocent XI. At the request of several Benedictin monasteries in Italy, 
that pope in a brief, addressed to the Anselmist Benedictin monks at Rome, orders that no professor in 
their schools ever depart from the theological principles laid down by St. Anselm, which these theologians 
join with those of St. Austin and St. Thomas Aquinas, to which they are always conformable. 

Only public occasions engaged St. Anselm in this literary career for the defence of the church. It was 
rather his delight to be employed in the interior exercises of devotion, being himself one of the most emi- 
nent masters in the contemplative way ; of which spirit his ascetic works will be an eternal monument. 
They consist of Exhortations, Prayers, Hynms, and Meditations, to be best read in the new edition of his 
works hy the Benedictins. They are written with a moving unction, and express a most tender devotion, 
especially to the cross and passion of Christ, to the holy sacrament of the altar, and to the Blessed Virgin ; 
and an ardent love of God, and of our divine Redeemer. Eadmer, his disciple and constant companion, 
who has given us his life in two books, and a separate book of New Transactions, (chiefly containing the 
saint's public actions and troubles,) has also left us the book of his Similitudes, collected from his maxims 
and sentences. He informs us that the saint used to say, that if he saw hell open and sin before him, he 
would leap into the former, to avoid the latter. Such indeed are to be the dispositions of every good Chris- 
tian : but only an extraordinary impulse of fervor like this saint's, can make sucji metaphysical suppositions 
seasonable. The same author relates a vision seen by the saint, representing the world like a fetid tor- 
rent, the persons drowned in which seemed carried down by its impetuous stream. The last edition of 
St. Anselm's works was given by Gerberon, the Maurist monk, in 1675, reprinted in 1721. 

VOL. II. 17 

130 S. ANASTASIUS. [ApRIL 21. 

sentiments of all these virtues, especially of compunction, fear of the divine 
judgments, and charity, are expressed in that language of the heart which 
is peculiar to the saints. 


He testifies of himself, that in his tender years he listened to the gospel 
with no less respect than if he had heard Christ himself speak ; and re- 
ceived the blessed eucharist with the same love and tenderness as if he em- 
braced him visibly present. After visiting the holy places at Jerusalem, he 
went to mount Sinai, and was so much edified by the. sight of the angelical 
lives of the hermits who inhabited it, that he built himself a cell among 
them. Here, perfectly dead to all earthly things and to himself, he de- 
served, by prayer and obedience, to receive from God the double talent of 
wisdom and spiritual science, the treasures of which are only communicated 
to the humble. He often left his desert to defend the church. At Alexan- 
dria he publicly convicted certain chiefs of the Acephali heretics, that, in 
condemning St. Flavian, they had condemned all the fathers of the church, 
insomuch that the people could scarce be contained from stoning them. He 
confuted them by an excellent work entitled Ordegus, or the Guide ; in which, 
besides refuting the Eutychian errors, he lays down rules against all here- 
sies. He has also left several ascetic works, full of piety and devotion. 
In his discourse on the Synaxis, or mass, he urges the duties of the con- 
fession of sins to a priest, respect at mass, and pardon of injuries, in so pa- 
thetic a manner, that Canisius and Combefis recommended this piece to 
the diligent perusal of all preachers. This saint was living in 678, as 
Ceillier demonstrates from certain passages in his Odegus.' See Hen- 
schenius, t. 2, Apr. p. 850 ; Ceillier, t. 17. 


Whom Nicephorus and many moderns confound with the Sinaite, (which 
last certainly lived sixty years after the death of the patriarch,) was a man 
of singular learning and piety. When any persons in his company spoke 
of temporal affairs, he seemed to have neither ears to hear, nor tongue to 
give any answer, observing a perpetual silence, as Evagrius reports of him, 
except when charity or necessity compelled him to speak. He had an ex- 
traordinary talent in comforting the afflicted. He vigorously opposed the 
heresy which the emperor Justinian maintained in his dotage, that the body 
of Christ, during his mortal life, was not liable to corruption and pain ; and 
wrote upon that subject with propriety, elegance, and choice of sentiments. 
The emperor resolved to banish him, but was prevented by death. How- 
ever, his successor, Justin the Younger, a man corrupted in his morals, ex- 
pelled him from his see ; which he recovered again twenty-three years 
after, in 593. He held it five years longer, and, dying in 598, left us several 
letters and very pious sermons. See Henschenius, t. 2, Apr. p. 853 ; Evagr. 
Hist. 1. 4, c. 38, 39, &c. 

I T. 17, p. 431 

April 21.] 





"Who succeeded the above-mentioned. In 610, he was slain by the 
Jews, in a sedition, on the 21st of December, and in the Roman Martyrolo- 
gy is honored on that day as a martyr. 



He was a native of Powis-land,* and son of Beugi, or, as the Welsh write 
it, Hywgi, grandson to the prince of Powis-land, or at least part of it, called 
Glewisig. For the sake of his education he was sent into Arvon, the ter- 
ritory opposite to Anglesey, from which island it is separated by the river, 
or rather arm of the sea, called Menai. This country was also called 
Snowdon forest, from its hills, the highest in Britain, which derive their 
name from the snow which covers them, being called in Welsh, Craig Eri- 
ry, words of the same import with their English name Snowdon. These 
mountains afford such an impregnable retreat, and so much good pasture, 
that the usual style of the sovereigns was. Princes of North-Wales, and 
Lords of Snowdon. Sejont, called by the Romans Segontium, was the 
capital city, situated on the river Sejont. Its ruins are still visible near the 

* Powis-land was a great principality in Wales, anil anciently comprised all the country that lay between 
the Severn as high as the bridge at Gloucester, the Dee, and the Wye. The capital was Pengwern, now 
Shrewsbury. King OfFa, to restrain the daily incursions and depredations of the Welsh, drove them out 
of all the plain country into the niountiins, and annexed the country about the Severn and the Wye to his 
kingdom of Mercia, and for a curb, made a deep ditch, extending from one sea to Ihe other, called Clawdh 
Offa, i. e. OtFa's dike. On this account the royal seat of the princes of Powis was translated from Pen- 
gwern to Mathraval, in Montgomeryshire. In the time of St. Beuno, Brochwel, called by some, in Lat- 
in, Brochmaelus, was king of Powis and Chester. He resided at Pen-gwern, in the house where, since, 
the college and church of St. Chad wore built; was religious, and a great friend to the monks of Bangor. 
When Ethelred, the pagan Saxon king of Northumberland, had massacred a great number of them, Broch- 
wel assembled an army, and being joined by Cadfan, king of Britain, Morgan, king of Demetia, (now Caer- 
marthenshire, Pembrolieshire, and Cardiganshire,) and Blederit, king of Cornwall, gave a memorable over- 
throw to Ethelred, upon the river Dee, in the year G17. Brochwel was soon after succeeded in Powis by 
his son, Cadelli-Egbert, king of England, who, having discomfited the Danes and Welsh together at Hen- 
gist-down, about the year 8'20, made all Wales tributary, and annexed Chester, called till then Caer Dheon 
ar Dhyfrdwy, forever to England, which till then had remained in the hands of the Welsh. Under king 
Ethelwulph, Berthred, his tributary king of Mercia, defeated and slew at Kettel, Merfyn Frych, king of 
the Welsh. But his son Roderic, surnamed Mawr, or the Great, united all Wales in his dominion in 843. 
But in 877 left it divided among his three elder sons, having bviilt for each a royal palace. That of Gwin- 
eth, or I^brth- Wales, at Aberttravv, he gave his eldest son Anarawd ; tliat of South-Wales at Dinefawr, or 
Cardigan, he left to C'adelh : and to his third son Merfyn, he gave Powis, with the palace of Mathrafel ; 
but this was soon usurped by Cadelh, and added to South-Wales. King Athelstan drove the Britons from 
Exeter, and confined tliem in Cornwall, beyond the river Cambria, now T;imar. and in Wales beyond the 
Wye. All Wales was again united under llowel Dha, i. e. Howel the Good, in 940. who, having been long 
prince of South-Wales and Powis, was, for his great probity, elected king of iS'orth-Wales. lie drew up 
the code of the Welsh laws, which he prevailed upon the pope to confirm, and Lambert, archbishop of 
St. David's, to declare all transgressors excommitnicated. He died in peace in 948, and his kingdom was 
parcelled among his four sons, and the sons of the last king of North- Wales : but by his laws all the other 
princes in Wales paid homage to the prince of North-Wales. Lewelyn ap Grytfydh, the brave last prince 
of North-Wales, after many great exploits, being betrayed and slain near the river Wye, Edward I., in the 
twelfth year of his reign, united Wales to England, built two castles in North-Wales, at Conwey and 
Caernarvon, and caused his queen Eleonore to lie-in soon after in the latter place, that In his new-horn son 
Edward H., he might give the Welsh a prince, according to his terms, who was born in Wales, could 
speak no English, and was of an unblemished character. King Henry VII. abolished the oppressive laws 
which his predecessors had made against the Welsh, and Henry VIII. ordered their code and customs to 
be laid aside, and the English laws to take place in Wales. 

Public annals of Wales were kept, in which all things memorable were recorded, in the two great mon- 
asteries of Conwey in North- Wales, and Ystratflur in South-Wales, where the princes and other great 
men of that country were buried. These were compared together every three years, when the Beirdh, or 
Bards, i. e. learned writers, belonging to those two houses, made their visitations called Clera. These an- 
nals were continued to the year 1270, a little before the death of the last prince Lhewelyn, slain at Buelht, 
near the Wye, in 1283. Gutryn Owen took a copy of these annals, in the reign of Edward IV. Hum- 
phrey Lloyd, the great British antiquarian, in the reign of Henry VII., translated them into English. And 
from them David Powel compiled his history of Wales, under queen Elizabeth, augmented by Mr. W. 
Wynne, in 1097. 


[April 21. 

town and castle of Caernarvon, (or city of Arvon,) built by Edward I., on 
the mouth of the river, at the great ferry over to Anglesey. That island 
had been, under the pagan Britons, the chief seat of the Druids, and was 
afterwards illustrious for many holy monks and hermits. On the coast op- 
posite to this island, in the county of Caernarvon, stood three great monas- 
teries : that of Clynnog Fawr, near Sejont, or Caernarvon ; that of Conway, 
on the extremity of this county, towards Denbighshire, on the river Conway, 
which separates the two counties ; from which it is called Aberconway, 
that is, mouth of the Conv/ay. It was the burying-place of the princes of 
North- Wales. Edward I. built there a strong castle and town facing Beau- 
maris, the capital of Anglesey, though the passage here is much broader 
than from Caernarvon. Bangor, or Banchor, i. e. White Choir, or Place of 
the Choir, was on the same coast, in the midway between Caernarvon and 
Aberconway. This monastery and bishopric were founded by St. Daniel, 
about the year 525. The very town was formerly called Bangor Fawr, or 
the Great Bangor : but the monastery and city were destroyed by the Danes ; 
and, though the bishopric still subsists, the town is scarce better than a vil- 
lage. St. Beuno seems to have had his education in the monastery of Ban- 
gor : he afterwards became the father and founder of several great nurseries 
of saints. Two monasteries he built in the isle of Anglesey, AberfFraw and 
Trefdraeth, of both which churches he is to this day titular saint. On the 
continent, he founded Clynnog, or Clynnoc fechan, i. e. Little Clynnog ; 
and Clynnog Fawr, or Vawr, i. e. Great Clynnog. This last was situated 
near the river Sejont, and the present Caernarvon. Cadvan was at that 
time king of North- Wales, and had lately gained a great victory over Ethel- 
red, king of the pagan English Saxons of Northumberland, who had barbar- 
ously massacred the poor monks of Bangor, in the year 607, or somewhat 
later. St. Beuno made the king a present of a golden sceptre, and the 
prince assigned a spot to build his monastery upon, near Fynnon Beuno, or 
Beuno's well, in the parish of Llanwunda, of which he is titular saint. But 
when he was beginning to lay the foundation, a certain woman came to him 
with a child in her arms, saying, that the ground was this infant's inherit- 
ance. The holy man, much troubled hereat, took the woman with him to 
the king, who kept his court at Caer Sejont, and told him, with a great deal 
of zeal and concern, that he could not devote to God another's patrimony. 
The king refusing to pay any regard to his remonstrances, the saint went 
away. But one Gwyddeiant, cousin-german to the king, immediately went 
after him, and bestowed on him the township of Clynnog-Fawr, his undoubt- 
ed patrimony, where Beuno built his church about the year 616. King 
Cadvan died about that time ; but his son and successor Cadwallon surpass- 
ed him in his liberality to the saint and his monastery. It is related, 
among other miracles, that when a certain man had lost his eyebrow by 
some hurt, St. Beuno healed it by applying the iron point of his staff: and 
that from this circumstance a church four miles from Clynnog, perhaps 
built by the person so healed, retains to this day the name of Llanael hay- 
am, i. e. church of the iron brow : though popular tradition is not perhaps a 
sufficient evidence of such a miracle ; and some other circumstance might 
give occasion to the name. Some further account of St. Beuno will be giv- 
en in the life of St. Wenefride. The year of his death is nowhere record- 
ed. He is commemorated on the 14th of January and 21st of April. And 
on Trinity Sunday great numbers resort to t^e wakes at Clynnog, and for- 
merly brought ofl'e rings to the church. 

This monastery passed afterwards into the hands of Benedictins of the 
congregation of Clugni : whence it had the name of Clynnog, or Clunnoc, 
being formerly known only by that of its founder. The church, built of 

April 21.] s. malrubixjs, m. 133 

beautiful stone, is so large and magnificent as to remain to this day the 
greatest ornament and wonder of the whole country, especially Saint Beu- 
no's chapel, which is joined to the church by a portico. In this chapel, the 
fine painted or stained glass in the large windows is much eff'aced and de- 
stroyed, except a large figure of our blessed Saviour extended on the cross. 
Opposite to this crucifix, about three yards from the east window, is Saint 
Beuno's tomb, raised above the ground, and covered with a large stone, up- 
on which people still lay sick children, in hopes of being cured. This great 
building, though very strong, is in danger of decaying for want of revenues 
to keep it in repair. Those of the monastery were chiefly settled on the 
Principal of Jesus College in Oxford, except what was reserved for the main- 
tenance of a vicar to serve the parish. Some still bring offerings of some 
little piece of silver, or chiefly of lambs, which are sold by the churchwar- 
dens, and the money put into St. Beuno's box, to be employed in repairing 
the chapel. From an ancient custom, farmers in that country continue to 
print on the foreheads of their sheep what they call St. Beuno's mark. Mr. 
Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt, the great Welsh antiquarian, has given us an 
ample list of benefactions bestowed upon Clynnoc, by princes and others. 
On St. Beuno see his MS. life, Howel's History of Wales, pp. 11 and 12, 
and a long, curious letter, concerning him and this church, which the com- 
piler received from the Rev. Mr. Farrington, the ingenious vicar of Clyn- 
nog-Fawr, or Vawr, as the Welsh adjective Mawr, great, is written in several 
parts of Wales. 


Eneon Bhrenin, called, by the Latin writers of the Scottish history, 
Anianus, was a king of the Scots, in a considerable part of North-Britain, 
and son of Owen Danwyn, the son of Eneon Yrth, son of Cunedha Wle- 
gin, king of Cambria, a very powerful prince in the' southern parts of Scot- 
land, in which Cumberland and the neighboring parts of England were then 
comprised. Eingan was cousin-gerinan to the great Maelgwn Gwyneth, 
king of Britain in North-Wales, whose father was Caswallon lawhir, the 
brother of Owen Danwyn ; and his mother Medif, daughter of Voilda ap 
Talu Traws, of Nanconwey, near Bangor. Eingan, or Eigan, leaving his 
royalty in the North, went into Gwyneth, the old name of North-Wales, 
probably from the great prince of that name. There he retired to Lhyn, or 
Lheyn, now a deanery in the diocese and archdeaconry of Bangor. In that 
part he built a church, and spent the remainder of his days in the fear and 
service of God. He seems to have died about' the year 590. St. Eingan 
is titular saint of this church, called to this day Llanengan. See Bowel's 
History of Wales, p. 12, and Brown- Willis's Survey of Bangor. 


Led an austere monastic life in the mountainous country of Abur-Cros- 
sain, in the county of Ross in Ireland, when certain Norway pirates landing 
there in 721, for attempting to preach Christ to them, he was massacred by 
them with many wounds, in the eightieth year of his age, probably on the 
21st of April, his festival in Connaught. See Colgan's MSS. 

134 s. cAius, p. [April 22. 



St. Soter was raised to the papacy upon the death of St. Anicetus, in 
173. By the sweetness of his discourses, he comforted all persons with the 
tenderness of a father, and assisted the indigent with liberal alms, especially 
those who suffered for the faith. He liberally extended his charities, ac- 
cording to the custom of his predecessors, to remote churches, particularly 
to that of Corinth, to which he addressed an excellent letter, as St. Diony- 
sius of Corinth testifies in his letter of thanks, who adds that his letter was 
found worthy to be read for their edification on Sundays at their assemblies 
to celebrate the divine mysteries, together with the letter of St. Clement, 
pope. St. Soter vigorously opposed the heresy of Montanus, and governed 
the church to the year 177. See Eusebius, from whose ecclesiastical his- 
tory these few circumstances are gleaned. In the Martyrologies this pope 
is styled a martyr. 


Succeeded St. Eutychian in the apostolic see, in 283. The church 
then enjoyed a calm, but was soon after disturbed by a tumultuous persecu- 
tion for two years, on the death of Carinus. St. Caius encouraged St. Se- 
bastian and the other martyrs and confessors. However, to preserve him- 
self for his flock, he withdrew for a time to avoid the fury of the storm. The 
ancient pontificals say he was of Dalraatia, and related to the emperor Dio- 
clesian. Having sat twelve years, four months, and seven days, he died on 
the 21st of April, 296, and was interred on the 22d, on which day his name 
is honored in the Liberian Calendar. His sufferings obtained him the title 
of martyr, as Orsi takes notice.' 

What had not these primitive saints to sufl^er not only from the persecu- 
tions of infidel princes and magistrates, but also from the ignorance, stupid- 
ity, jealousy, and malice of many whom they labored daily to gain to Christ, 
and from the manifold trials and dangers of so many souls in their dear flock 
whom they bore in their hearts, and whose sufferings they felt much more 
severely than their own ! We are not to be surprised. — These were so 
many special effects of a most tender love and mercy in Him by whose 
providence these trials were sent them : they were the steps by which their 
souls were raised to the summit of perfect virtue. We perhaps daily meet 
with domestic persecutions and contradictions, and look upon them as obsta- 
cles to our progress in the way of perfection, as thorns in our road. They 
may, indeed, be called thorns, but they produce and guard the sweetest and 
most beautiful flowers of virtue. It is owing to our sloth, cowardice, and 
impatience ; it is our fault if they are hinderances of what they are designed 
by God to advance and perfect in our souls. Virtues exercised in prosper- 
ity, which are fair to the eye, and applauded by men, are usually false or 
superficial. A perpetual spring would produce only leaves and flowers, and 
bring no fruit to maturity. To understand the incomparable value and merit 

1 T. 3, 1. 8, n. 46, p. 500. 

April 22.] 



of the little crosses of which we are so apt to complain, we must not lose 
sight of the saints. Those Christian heroes, of whom the world was not 
worthy, all suffered, and were persecuted many ways. These crosses both 
purchased and ensured to them their greatest crowns. 



From their genuine acts, by St. Maruthas, in Assemani's Acta Martyrum, 1. 1, p. 42. 

A. D. 341. 

In the thirty-second year of king Sapor II., (which Sozoraen and others 
from him call, by an evident mistake, the thirty-third,) on Good Friday, 
which fell that year on the 17th day of April, according to our solar year, 
the same day on which St. Simeon and his companions suffered, a most 
cruel edict was published in Persia, inflicting on all Christians the punish- 
ment of instant death or slavery, without any trial or form of judicature. 
The swords of the furious were everywhere unsheathed ; and Christians 
looked upon slaughter as their glory, and courageously went out to meet it. 
They had even in this life the advantage of their enemies, who often trem- 
bled or were fatigued, while the persecuted professors of the truth stood 
unshaken. " The cross grew and budded upon rivers of blood," says St. 
Maruthas ; " the troops of the saints exulted with joy, and, being refreshed 
by the sight of that saving sign, were themselves animated with fresh vigor, 
and inspired others continually with new courage. They were inebriated 
by drinking the waters of divine love, and produced a new offspring to suc- 
ceed them." From the sixth hour on Good Friday to the second Sunday 
of Pentecost, that is. Low Sunday, (the Syrians and Chaldeans calling all 
the space from Easter-day to Whitsun-day Pentecost,) the slaughter was 
continued without interruption. The report of this edict no sooner reached 
distant cities, than the governors threw all the Christians into prisons, to be 
butchered as soon as the edict itself should be sent them : and upon its ar- 
rival in any place, whoever confessed themselves Christians were stabbed, 
or had their throats cut upon the spot. The eunuch Azades, a very great 
favorite with the king, was slain on this occasion; but the king was so afflict- 
ed at his death, that he thereupon published another edict, which restrain- 
ed the persecution from that time to the bishops, priests, monks, and nuns. 
Great numbers also of the soldiery were crowned with martyrdom, besides 
innumerable others throughout the whole kingdom. Sozomen computes the 
number at sixteen thousand ; but an ancient Persian writer, published by 
Renaudot, makes it amount to two hundred thousand.* 

The queen, in the mean time, fell dangerously ill. The Jews, to whom 
she was very favorable, easily persuaded her that her sickness was the ef- 
fect of a magical charm or spell, employed by the sisters of the blessed 
Simeon, to be revenged for their brother's death. One was a virgin, called 
Tharba, whom Henschenius and Ruinart corruptly call, with the Greeks, 
Pherbuta. Her sister was a widow, and both had consecrated themselves 
by vow to God in a state of continency.f Hereupon the two sisters were ap- 

* Concerning those martyrs, see Cassiodorus, Hist. Tripart. 1. 3, c. 2; Niceph. 1. 8, c. 27. 

t Many had vowed perpetual chastity from the times of the apostles. We read in the Acts of the 
Apostles (ch. xxi.) of tte four virgins, daughters of Philip the deacon. Tertullian cries out, (L. de resiir. 
carnis,) "How many voluntary eunuchs ! how many virgins of both sexes!" St. Ambrose (Exhort, ad 
Virg.) mentions virgins consecrated to God by receiving a blessed veil from the hands of the bishop at 
mass. Some vowed their virginity without receiving the consecrated veil, but wore black or gray modest 
garments, as a maris of their state. The strictest nuns were those called in Syria daughters of the cove- 
nant ; which name included the deaconesses and other canonical maidens, who not only made vows of 

136 SS. EPIPODIUS, ETC., MM. [ApRIL 22. 

pretended, and with them Tharba's servant, who was also a virgin. Being 
accused of bewitching the queen, Tharba replied that the law of God allow- 
ed no more of enchantment than of idolatry. And being told they had done 
it out of revenge, she made answer, that they had no reason to revenge their 
brother's death, by which he had obtained eternal life in the kingdom of 
heaven : revenge being, moreover, strictly forbidden by the law of God. 
After this they were remanded to prison. Tharba, being extremely beau- 
tiful, one of her judges was enamored of her. He therefore sent her word 
the next day, that if she would consent to marry him, he would obtain her 
pardon and liberty of the king. But she refused the oifer with indignation, 
saying, that she was the spouse of Jesus Christ, to whom she had conse- 
crated her virginity, and committed her life ; and that she feared not death, 
which would open to her the way to her dear brother, and to eternal rest 
from pain. The other two judges privately made her the like proposals, but 
were rejected in the same manner. They hereupon made their report to 
the king, as if they had been convicted of the crime ; but he, not believing 
them guilty, was willing their lives should be spared, and their liberty re- 
stored to them, on condition they would offer sacrifice to the sun. They 
declared nothing should ever prevail on them to give to a creature the hon- 
or due to God alone ; whereupon the Magians cried out, " They are unwor- 
thy to live by whose spells the queen is wasting in sickness." And it being 
left to the Magians to assign their punishments, and determine what death 
they should be put to, they, out of regard to the queen's recovery, as they 
pretended, ordered their bodies to be sawn in two, and half of each to be 
placed on each side of a road, that the queen might pass between them, 
which, they said, would cure her. Even after this sentence, Tharba's ad- 
mirer found means to let her know, that it was still in her power to prevent 
her death, by consenting to marry him. But she cried out with indignation : 
" Most impudent of men, how could you again entertain such a dishonest 
thought I For me courageously to die is to live ; but life, purchased by 
baseness, is worse than any death." When they were come to the place 
of execution, each person was tied to two stakes, and with a saw sawn in 
two ; each half, thus separated, was cut into six parts, and being thrown 
into so many baskets, were hung on two forked stakes, placed in the figure 
of half crosses, leaving an open path between them ; through which the 
queen superstitiously passed the same day. St. Maruthas adds, that no 
sight could be more shocking or barbarous than this spectacle of the mar- 
tyrs' limbs cruelly mangled, and exposed to scorn. They suffered in the 
year 341. 



They were two gentlemen of that city, though the latter a Grecian by 
birth, both in the flower of their age, and from the time of their' first studies 
together in the same school, linked by the bands of the strictest friendship, 

virginity, but alsn in many places were appointed to sing divine hymns in the church, as we road in the 
Syriac life of St. E])hrem. Of this class were all the nuns who suffered in Persia, namely, SS. Varda, the 
two Thechis, three Maries, Danacka, Tatona, Mama, Jiluzachia, Anna, Abiatha, Hates, Mamlaca, Tata, 
Ama, Adrana, and Maraca ; for they are called Bnoth-Kiaina, or daughters of the covenant. All these 
classes of holy virgins lived in private houses, before monasteries were founded ; but never in the same 
houses with men, as St. Cyprian testifies, (b. 1, ep. 11.) They had consecrated themselves to God by 
vows of chastity : for St. Cyprian (ibid.) says, that if one of them should fall into incnntirience, she would 
be incestuous and an adulteress, not to a husband, but to Christ. And Tertullian (1. de virg. veland.) calls 
them sacrilegious, who could throw aside a habit consecrated to God. They employed their time in soli- 
tude, hymns, prayers, and fastings, and were like the nuns mentioned by SS. Ambrose, Jerom, &c., in 
other parts of the church. 

April 22.] ss. epipodius, etc., 



which grew up with them, and was strengthened and spiritualized by their 
mutual profession of Christianity. This happy union occasioned a mutual 
assistance and encouragement of each other in piety and all Christian vir- 
tues ; especially purity, sobriety, and the love of God apd their neighbor, by 
which they prepared themselves for martyrdom. They were both in their 
prime, but neither of them married when the persecution began, in the sev- 
enteenth year of Marcus Aurelius, and 177th of Jesus Christ, which, raging 
at Lyons, had already swept off St. Pothinus and his companions. Pursu- 
ant to our Saviour's advice, they endeavored to hide themselves. They ac- 
cordingly went secretly out of the city by themselves, to a neighboring 
town, where they lay concealed for some time in the house of a poor Chris- 
tian widow. The woman's fidelity and the meanness of the place secured 
them for awhile ; but at length they were so diligently sought after, that 
they were discovered, and, in endeavoring to escape once more, Epipodius 
lost one of his shoes, which was found by a Christian woman, who, as the 
acts say, kept it as a treasure. They were no sooner apprehended, than, 
contrary to the custom of the Romans, they were, without any previous ex- 
amination, sent to prison. Three days after, they were brought, with their 
hands tied behind them, before the governor's tribunal; where, having own- 
ed themselves Christians, the people made a great outcry, and the judge in 
a passion said : " What purpose have all the preceding tortures and execu- 
tions served, if there still remain any who dare profess the name of Christ." 
To prevent their mutual encouragement of each other by signs, he caused 
them to be separated. And calling first for Epipodius, the younger of the 
two, whom he had looked upon as the weaker on this account, he endeavor- 
ed to conquer his resolution by caresses, promises, and motives of pleasure. 
Epipodius replied : " I shall not suffer myself to be prevailed upon by this 
pretended and cruel compassion. Are you so ignorant as not to know that 
man is composed of two substances, a soul and a body ? With us the soul 
commands, and the body obeys. The abominations you are guilty of in 
honor of your pretended deities, afford pleasure to the body, but kill the soul. 
We are engaged in a war against the body for the advantage of the soul. 
You, after having defiled yourselves with pleasures like brute beasts, find 
nothing at last but a sorrowful death ; whereas we, when you destroy us, 
enter into eternal life." The judge, being exasperated at this modest reply, 
caused him to be struck on the mouth. The martyr, though his teeth were 
all over blood, continued to proclaim his faith, saying, " I confess that Jesus 
Christ is God, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit. It is but rea- 
sonable that I should resign my soul to him who has created me and re- 
deemed me. This is not losing my life, but changing it into a better." 
While he spake thus, the governor ordered him to be stretched on the rack, 
and his sides to be torn with iron hooks. The people were so enraged to 
see the courage and tranquillity with which he suffered all these torments, 
that they required to have him given up to them to be crushed to death or 
torn in pieces : for the judge seemed not to proceed fast enough for them. 
Afraid, therefore, lest they should come to any open sedition, he gave orders 
that his head should be immediately struck off, which was accordingly done. 
Two days after, he called Alexander to the bar, and laid before him the 
torments of Epipodius and of other Christians, hoping to terrify him into 
compliance. The martyr answered by thanking God for setting before his 
eyes such glorious examples for his encouragement, and expressing his de- 
sire of joining his dear Epipodius. The judge, no longer containing his 
rage, caused his legs to be extended wide, and ordered him to be beaten by 
three executioners, who succeeded each other by turns. This torment last- 
ed a long time ; yet the martyr never let fall the least word of complaint. 

VOL. II. — 18 

138 S. THEOBORUS, B. C. [ApRIL 22. 

At length the judge asked him if he still persisted in his profession of 
Christianity. " I do," says Alexander, " for the idols of the Gentiles are 
devils ; and the God whom I adore, and who alone is the almighty and 
eternal God, I trust will give me grace to confess him to my last breath, as 
the guardian of my faith and resolution." The governor, finding him im- 
moveable, and envying him the glory of a longer trial, sentenced him to be 
crucified. The instrument of his death was immediately made ready, and 
no sooner was the martyr fastened on it than he gave up his soul to Christ, 
whom he invoked with the last efforts of his voice. For by his torments he 
had been already quite exhausted ; his entrails were visible through his un- 
covered ribs, and his bones hung as if they were all broken or dislocated. 
The Christians privately carried off the bodies of these two saints, and 
buried them on a hill near the city ; which place became famous afterwards 
for the piety of the faithful, and venerable by a great number of miracles 
which were wrought there, according to the author of their acts in Ruinart, 
who lived in the fourth century, and attests several of these miracles as an 
eye-witness. He relates, that the city of Lyons being visited by a pesti- 
lence, a young man of quality who was seized with it, recovered his health 
by a draught to which the devout poor widow had given a benediction with 
the martyr's shoe. Upon the report of which miracle, innumerable other 
persons were cured by the like means, and many brought to the light of 
faith. At their tomb the devils were cast out, and the sick restored to their 
health, in so evident and miraculous a manner, that incredulity itself could 
not refuse its assent, as the author of these acts moreover testifies. Their 
tomb was without the walls of the city when he wrote, but enclosed within 
them in the middle of the fifth century, when St. Eucherius, archbishop of 
Lyons, wrote the panegyric of these saints, in which he says that the dust 
of their tomb was distributed over the whole country for the benefit of the 
sick. St. Gregory of Tours writes,' that this dust did many miracles. He 
says, that their bodies, in the sixth century, lay deposited with that of St. 
Irenseus, in the church of St. John, now called of St. Ireneeus, under the 
altar, where the relics of these tvi^o holy martyrs were found, and respect- 
fully translated in 1410. See Ruinart, p. 61. 



He was a native of Siceon, in Galatia, and from his infancy so much 
given to prayer, that, when at school, he often deprived himself of his din- 
ner, to spend the time allowed for it in the church. All his leisure hours 
he consecrated to the exercises of prayer and pious reading. He very 
early shut himself up in a cell in the house of his mother, afterwards in a 
cave under a retired chapel ; and flying at length from thence, to avoid ap- 
plause, lived on a desert mountain. He was ordained priest by the bishop 
of Anastasiopolis, and near an ancient chapel built in honor of. St. George, 
to which holy martyr he was exceedingly devoted, he founded a great mon- 
astery. In a second pilgrimage to Jerusalem, like another Elias, he, by his 
prayers, obtained rain from heaven in a great drought in Palestine. He 
formed many eminent disciples, and built a large monastery at Siceon, which 
town was situated in the diocese of Anastasiopolis ; but still made his chief 
abode in a little remote cell. Count Mauritius, general of the armies of the 
emperor Tiberius, when he returned triumphant from Persia, paid a visit to 

1 L. de Gloria Mart c. 50. 

April 22.] s. opportuna. 139 

this saint, who foretold him the empire, by a revelation which he liad re- 
ceived through the merits of St. George the martyr. Mauritius being ad- 
vanced to the imperial throne, in 582, sent to recommend himself and his 
empire to the prayers of this humble servant of God. Theodorus was, by 
main force, consecrated bishop of Anastasiopolis, and having held that see 
ten years, he obtained an order from Cyriacus, patriarch of Constantinople, 
and the emperor Mauritius, to the archbishop of Ancyra, his metropolitan, to 
accept his resignation, which he had till then refused. Theodorus returned 
with joy to Siceon, but was called to Constantinople to give his blessing to 
the emperor and senate. He healed one of the emperor's sons, afflicted 
with a leprosy. And being returned to his solitude at Siceon, he died 
there, -in 613, on the 22d of April, on which day his name occurs in the 
Roman Martyrology. See his life, compiled by his disciple, George Eleu- 
sius, with the notes of Henschenius, t. 3, Apr. p. 32. 


Virgin and abbess of Montreuil, three miles from Seez, an episcopal see 
in Normandy, of which her brother, St. Chrodegang, was bishop. This 
holy prelate, returning from a pilgrimage of devotion which he had made to 
Rome and other holy places, went to pay a visit to his cousin, St. Lantildis, 
abbess of Almanesches, in his diocese ; but was murdered in the way, at 
Normant, on the 3d of September, 769, by the contrivance of Chrodobert, a 
powerful relation, to whom he had intrusted the administration of his tem- 
poralities during his absence. He is honored in the Breviary of Seez on 
the day of his death : his head is enshrined in the abbey of St. Martin in 
the Fields, at Paris, and his body in the priory of Isle-Adam upon the Oise, 
near Pontoise. St. Opportuna did not long survive him, dying in 770, on 
the 22d of April, having lived an accomplished model of humility, obedi- 
ence, mortification, and prayer. Her relics were carried from Seez during 
the incursions of the Normans, in the reign of Charles the Bald, to the 
priory of Moussy, between Paris and Senlis, in 1009 : and some time after 
to Senlis. In the reign of Charles V., in 1374, her right arm was trans- 
lated to Paris with great devotion and pomp, and deposited in the church 
which was built in her honor, in the reign of Charles the Bald, to receive a 
former portion of her relics then brought from Moussy. It was then a small 
church, built at the entrance of a wood, near a hermitage, called before, 
Notre Dames des Bois Paris. The town being since extended much be- 
yond this church, it was made parochial and a collegiate of canons. Great 
part of the head of St. Opportuna remains at Moussy ; her left arm, with 
part of her skull, at Almenesches : one jaw in the priory of St. Chrode- 
gang, at risle-Adam, and a rib, with her right arm, in her church at Paris. 
In processions, when the shrine of St. Genevieve is taken down, and car- 
ried, the ancient portion of the relics of St. Opportuna, kept in a large 
shrine, is also carried next the shrine of St. Honoratus. She is commemo- 
rated in the Paris Breviary, and is the titular saint of a parish in that city. 
See her life, written by Adelham, bishop of Seez, in 811, in Mabillon, saec. 
3, Ben. part 2, and Henschenius, t. 3, Apr. p. 462 ; Le Beuf, Hist, du Dio- 
cese de Paris, t. l,p. 65; La Vie de St. Opportune, par Nic. Gosset, 1655. 



[April 22. 


The emperor Severus, in the year 202, which was the tenth of his reign, 
raised a bloody persecution, which filled the whole empire with martyrs, but 
especially Egypt. The most illustrious of those, who by their triumphs 
ennobled and edified the city of Alexandria, was Leonides, father of the 
great Origen. He was a Christian philosopher, and excellently versed both 
in the profane and sacred sciences. He had seven sons, the eldest of whom 
was Origen,* whom he brought up with abundance of care, returning God 

* Origen, from his unwearied assiduity in writing, surnamed Adaraantius, (from adamus, a diamond,) a 
native of Alexandria, was a scholar of St. Clement, then regent of the famous catechetical school in that 
city. He was afterwards a scholar of the celebrated Christian philosopher. Ammonias Saccas, who, with 
most philosophers of that age, adhered principally to Plato, though he joined with him also Aristotle, and 
liad thus reconciled those inveterate feuds and differences which had subsisted between the schools of 
those two celebrated philosophers. With our Origen, Plotinus, the most judicious heathen critic, Longinus, 
and many other eminent men, frequented the lectures of Aujmonius. Origen, in consequence of the acute- 
ness of his parts and great industry, made vast improvements in all sorts of learning ; being incomparably 
skilled (according to St. Jerom and Suidas) in dialectics, geometry, arithmetic, music, rhetoric, and tlie sev- 
eral sentiments and opinions of all the sects of philosophers : he was also a great proficient in the Hebrew 
language, and the knowledge of the sacred writings. Being reduced to extreme poverty, after the death of 
his father, he was relieved by the liberality of a rich lady of Alexandria ; but never could be prevailed 
upon to communicate with a certain heretic named Paul, her particular favorite. Whether the lady on 
this account withdrew her charity, or that he thought it more agreeable to the Christian rule to live by his 
labor, he opened a grammar-school at Alexandria, and the year following he instructed certain catechu- 
mens in the feith. The applause which this procured him, moved Demetrius, the bishop, to appoint him 
to preside in the great catechetical school at Alexandria, though he was not then above eighteen years of 
age, (St. Jerom, Catal. c. 54 ;) whereas that province was seldom intrusted but to persons well advanced 
in years. But Origen was a quite finished man by the time nature in others begins only to open their 
genius to serious studies: a time of life never so remarkable upon the same account in any other person. 
At this age, he was an accomplished master of so much learning as to be respected, -consulted, and fol- 
lowed by a number of disciples ; and many, after being with the greatest masters in the world, were thereby 
only better qualified to be his scholars. From his school, innumerable doctors, priests, confessors, and 
martyrs came forth. Even heathens crowded to his lectures, whom he admitted, that, under the opportu- 
nity of profane learning, he might draw them to the faith of Christ. So high did his reputation run, that 
Porphyrins himself tells us. Origen, going by chance into the school of Plotinus, the famous philosopher, 
that haughty sophist blushed at the sight of such a person, stopped short, and refused to proceed, though 
desired : till at last he resumed his discourse only for the sake of an opportunity of passing a fine compli- 
ment upon him. (Porphyr. in Vit. Plotini.) Origen taught all the arts and sciences as well as divinity ; 
and besides his public lectures, the fatigue of which was enough to kill another person, he dictated to 
seven amanuenses. Such a fertility of knowledge, such a clear order in his Ideas on all sciences, such a 
presence of mind and facility of expression, will be the admiration of all succeeding ages. He seemed 
scarce ever to cease from application, or to allow his body any other refreshment than what proceeded 
froni a variety of labor. Even when he travelled, he everywhere was crowded with scholars, and every- 
where studied to improve his mind, and taught others ; so that wherever he went, he left, as it were, a 
track of light behind him. He knew hardly any ditference, as to repose, between day and night. His 
constitution, naturally strong, was still fortified by his way of living, which was in all respects most aus- 
tere. In quitting his profession as a grammarian, he sold all his books that related to profane learning, to 
one who daily supplied him with four Oboli, or about five-pence of our money, for hU subsistence, which 
served to maintain him several years, for he led a most austere life, sleeping upon the'bare ground, watch- 
ing much, besides fasting very often. In this new station of catechist he was of great use, as well by 
strengthening believers in the faith, as by gaining over to it a great number of Gentile philosophers ; and 
had so many martyrs among his disciples, that his school might more properly be called a school of mar- 
tyrdom, than of theology. The most eminent martyrs among his disciples were St. Plutarch, whom Ori- 
gen followed to execution, and narrowly escaped being slain by the citizens, because he was looked upon 
as the cause, by his exhortations, of the other's death. The second was St. Serenus ; the third, St. He- 
raclides ; the fourth, St. Heron ; the fifth, another St. Serenus ; the sixth, St. Herias, a woman catechu- 
men, who was baptized by fire, the instrument of her martyrdom ; the seventh, St. Basilides, with St. 
Potamioena, &c. Origen's school was frequented by very great personages, among whom St. Gregory 
Thaumaturgus was none of the least. He also taught many young virgins and women the principles of 
Christianity. And as he was a young man, and by his ofiice of catechist was obliged to converse daily, 
not only with men but women, by an indiscreet zeal against temptations, and to avoid all calumny, he 
made himself a eunuch, an action which he afterwards most justly condemned, (t. 15, in Mat. p. 369, ed. 
Huet.) He always walked barefooted, abstained from flesh-meat, and during many years from wine, till 
the weakness of his breast obliged him to mingle a little with his water. The bare floor was the only bed 
he ever made use of. To his continual fasts and watchings he added the rigors of cold and nakedness, 
and lived to his last breath in extreme voluntary poverty, constantly refusing the offers of many who 
earnestly desired to oblige him to share their estates with them. Yet he always thought that much was 
wanting to his poverty, that his disengagement from earthly things might be perfect. Whence, mention- 
ing the precept which Christ gave to priests, of renouncing all they possess in order to become his disci- 
ples, (Luke xiv. 33,) he says, "I tremble when I recite these words. For I am above others my own ac- 
cuser, repeating my own condemnation. At least, awaked by this warning, let us hasten to accomplish 
this jirecept, letns hasten to throw off the character of the priests of Pharaoh, whose possessions are on 
earth, iind rank ourselves among the priests of God, whose portion and inheritance is the Lord." Orig. 
Horn. 10, in Gen. p. 104. 

The desire of seeing so ancient a church as that of Rome, induced him to take a journey thither, St. 
Zephyrinus being then bishop of that see. (Euseb. 1. 6, c. 14.) He made no long stay in that city, but re- 
turned back to Alexandria, and to his former office of catechist, Demetrius earnestly importuning him to 
resume it. About this time he converted several from the errors of Marcion and Valentinus to the Catho- 

April 22.] 



thanks for having blessed him with a son of such an excellent disposition 
for learning, and a very great zeal for piety. These qualifications endeared 
him greatly to his father, v?ho, after his son was baptized, would come to 

lie faith; and among the rest Ambrose, a very considerable man at Alexandria, both on account of his 
riches and abilities, who became one of the most intimate friends of Origcn, and from that time maintained for 
his use ten amanuenses, or clerks, to copy his works, besides several other transcribers for his service. The 
emperor Heliofrabalus happened to make a lonf; stay at Aniioch, in 218, together with his aunt Maiimiea, 
mother of the emperor Alexander. She l)eing a lady of great wisdom, virtue, and learning, sent for Origen 
to Antioch, and detained him a long time wifh her in great honor. Nor does it seem to be doubled, that, 
through his instructions, slie embraced the faith, and inclined her son Alexander to favor the same. Origen 
mentions the abatement of the persecution during the reign of Heliogabalus, (1. 3, c. C'els.) which is gener- 
ally ascribed to his influence and credit at court : and, if he modestly declines telling us the part he bore in 
it, we owe him so much the more honor, the less he seems to claim. When Origen returned to Alexan- 
dria, he there composed his works on the holy scriptures, from the year 21.9 to 228. 

In 230, being at Cajsarea in Palestine, he was ordained priest by Theoctistus, bishop of that city, witJi the 
approbation of St. Alexander of .Jerusalem and other bishops. This step gave otience to Demetrius, bishop 
of Alexandria, who not long after, in two councils, deposed and excommunicated him. Origen had tied 
back to Palestine in 231, to withdraw himself from his censures, which he foresaw. The matters laid to 
his charge were, that he had made himself a eunuch, which indeed was afterwards declared by the church 
an irregularity, rendering a man incapable of holy orders ; that he had been ordained without the consent 
of his own bisliop ; and that he taught several errors in doctrine, chiefly that the devil will at last be freed 
from his torments and saved. Origen, in a letter to his friends at Alexandria, (apud S. Hieron. 1. 2. contra 
Rutin., p. 413,) condemns this error, and avers, that it had been foisted into his writings by heretics, willing 
to autliorize their erroneous tenets under his great name. Nevertheless, the Origenist heretics, who main- 
tained that error, boasted of his authority, and he certainly fell into several errors in his books. On Princi- 
ples, and for some time denied the eternity of the torments of the damned, as is clear from this work still 
extant. Both his writings and his name were condemned in the tifth general council. Who does not 
tremble for himself, while he trembles for an Origen ? Halloix, Tillemont, and Ceillier, strain matters too 
far in his vindication. He seems indeed to have speedily risen from his errors. For the most learned and 
holy prelates of Palestine, as those above mentioned, always continued to entertain him in their commu- 
nion, and treat him with honor. Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus spoke his panegyric, in which he exceed- 
ingly extols his learning and virtues. St. I'amphilus composed his apology, in which he produces his let- 
ter, proving that his works had been corrupted by heretics. We should be willing even to forget that he 
ever sinned, if deference to truth and the greatest authority could allow it. However, some ancients have 
spoken against him with the greatest bitterness, to destroy an authority of which the Origenist heretics 
availed themselves : though their principal error, by ivhich they denied the eternity of the torments of 
hell, seemis only derived from a mistake of his words, that if the devil could repent he would still be sa.ved, 
as Origen himself assures us, in words quoted by St. Pamphilus, and also by St. Jerom, during the time that 
his zeal against the Origenists had made him^the most violent enemy to his memory. When Beryllus, 
bishop of fiostra, in Arabia, fell into dangerous errors relating to the divinity of Christ, Origen was dis- 
patched to him from Cajsarea, in 238 ; and such was the success of his conference, as to convert Beryllus 
and crush his heresy in its birth ; who, as became a true convert, in several letters, gave thanks to Origen 
for his kind pains in his conviction. He performed the functions of catechist and iireacher at Ca!sarea, 
making sometimes remote excursions. In the persecution of Maximinus he retired into Cappadocia; in 
that of Decius to Tyre ; where, nevertheless, he was apprehended, and sufl'ered cruel tortures and a long 
imprisonment, from which the death of Decius released him : for the slander of his having yielded under 
his torments, though credited by St Epiplianius, and among the moderns by Petavius, (Animudv. in Epiiih. 
hm-. 64, et lib. de Ponder., c. 18,) is confuted by Baronius, Halloix, (Orig. defens. 1. 4, du. 3, et Not. p. 35,) 
Raynaudus, (Hopop., sect. 2,) Ilenry Valois, (in Eus. Hist. 1. 6, c. 39,) Huet, (Origeniana, 1. 1, c. 4,) 
Charles Vincent le Rue, (ib., p. 102,) &c. Origen died soon after at Tyre, and most probably of his tor- 
ments, in 253, being sixty-nine years old. His tomb, with an epitaph on a marble pillar, near the high altar 
in the cathedral at Tyre, is mentioned by niiin)' ancient writers down to the year 1283; but i.i not now 
known, the city of Tyre itself being destroyed. See Dom. Ch. Vincent le Rue, not. in Huetij Origeniana, 
t. 4, parte 2, p. 103. 

Origen's style is diffusive and proli.Y, and the arbitrary allegorical manner of interpreting the holy scrip- 
tures he certainly carried to an excess: but an astonishing erudition and other great qualities will ever 
support his reputation against the heavy censures of his enemies. They who call Origen a babbler and 
trifler, betray the weakness of their own judgnjent, or the violent bias of prepossession. As to his princi- 
pal worlvs, the Hexapla, which he published in the 3'par 231, contained the holy scri[itures in Hebrew : the 
same in Greek letters : the Greek versions of Aquila, Symmachus, the Seventy, and Theodotion, in six 
columns corresponding to each other. In his Octapla he added two other Greek versions, viz., a fifth, 
found at Jericho, and a sixth at Nicopolis in Epirus. His Tetrahla-consisted only of the versions of Aquila, 
Symmachus, the Seventy, and Theodotion. From various sources and manuscrijits, ftlontfaucon gathered 
together what fragments of this work could be met with, wliich he printed in two volumes, folio, at Paris, 
in 1713. So many expositions, additions from the other Greek versions, and other alterations, haj.i crept 
into the common copies of the Seventy, with infinite variety among themselves, that this performance of 
■ Origen was of great advantage. To every word in the niargin which was an explication or an addition 
borrowed from any of the other Greek versions allowed by the Jews, he prefixed an asteri.^k, or star *. To 
all such words as" were not found in the Hebrew as then extant, he prefixed an obelus, or dagger j. The 
signification of two other marks which he made use of, is not very Vi'ell known : the one called lemniscus, 
a kind of double obelus % ; the other hypolemniscus f. The asterisk is much the most frequent mark, and 
an omission of it before any word by the carelessness of a copyist, was sufficient to introduce a foreign 
word into the text. Montfaucon received great succors in restoring the Greek text of the Seventy, in the 
Hexapla, from an imperfect manuscript of the Pentateuch of this edition, of the seventh century, in the 
king's library at Paris; and from the Chigi manuscript of the prophets, Ifcelonging to the library of that 
prince at Rome ; and another of the same in the hands of the Jesuits at Clermont college, at Paris, of the 
seventh or eighth centuries ; both very fair and entire : and in both is contained the old version of Daniel , 
called of the Seventy, never printed ; thatwhich is published in our Greek bibles being universally allowed 
to be the version of Theodotion. It is great pity that the learned Montfaucon wrote often too hastily some 
words of this MS. of the Jesuits, which he probably took upon trust, being quite mistaken and wronsr, 
copied throughout his citations, doubtless by the fault of his copier. The original work of Origen, which 
was deposited by him with his other writings in the library of Cajsarea, is supposed to have perished when 
that city was taken and destroyed (not by Chosroes, the Persian, who only plundered Jerusalem and Ca;- 
sarea in Cappadocia, not this city of Palestine, as appears from Theoplianes, Chron. p. 199, but) by the 



[April 22. 

his bedside while he was asleep, and, opening his bosom, kiss it respectful- 
ly, as being the temple of the Holy Ghost. When the persecution raged at 
Alexandria, under Lsetus, governor of Egypt, in the tenth year of Severus, 

Saracens in 653, after a siege of seven years. See Hoffman's Lexicon. Kennicot, Diss. 2, p. 392, and Mont- 
faucon, Praeliin. in Hexapla, p. 76. 

As to his comments on the scriptures, those extant In Greelc are published with dissertations by Huet. 
The same with additions, and those only extant in the Latin translation, by Dom. Charles de la Rue, the 
Benedictln Maurist monli, with his other works. This learned editor has given us, with notes, (Op. Origenis, 
t. 1, p. 43, Parisiis, 1733,) his four books repi «px(i)i', or On Principles, in the Latin translation of Rufinus, 
in which only it is extant. Though Rufinus declares he had corrected the errors of this work, because it 
had been corrupted by heretics, we still discover in it daagerous principles concerning the pre-e.xistence of 
souls, the plurality of worlds,- the nature of the stars, as if endued with understanding and souls, the sal- 
vation of the devils, &c. This work raised clamors against the author, who in it>attempted to blend the 
principles of many philosophic sects with those of religion: though they are only problematically asserted, 
or with a perhaps ; and Origen, in the preface to this very work, clearly teaches, that nothing is to be ad- 
mitted as a religious doctrine or point of faith which squares not with the tradition of the church, and with 
what was preached by the apostles and preserved entire in the doctrine of the church. His treatise On 
Prayer, to Ambrose, proves its necessity, and expounds the Lord's pray-er. We have a good edition of this 
work given by William Reading, at London, in 1728; and a later still, improved, by De la Rue, (t. 1. p. 
195.) His golden book, On Martyrdom, was an exhortation to certain confessors in prison for the faith at ' 
Cisarea in Palestine. De la Rue has enriched his edition with judicious notes. But the most valuable 
and finished work of Origen is his. Apology for the Christian Religion, written in 249, in the reign of the 
emperor Philip, in eight books, against Celsus, an Epicurean philosopher, to whom the impious Lucian 
dedicated his Pseudo-mantis. De la Rue has, by ample notes, rendered it more useful, though those of the 
learned Spencer, in the Cambridge edition, in 1658, had before justly received the thanks of all lovers of 
ecclesiastical antiquity. This Celsus was an Epicurean philosopher, who lived in the reign of Adrian, 
and is to be distinguished from one of the same name and sect who lived in Nero's time. He was the 
most formidable adversary that ever attacked in writing the Christian religion. For Porphyrius, the Tyrian 
philosopher, in his voluminous invective, about the year 270, endeavored to invalidate the truth of the 
history of the Old and New Testament, by pretended contradictions, but by a sophistry equally weak and 
extravagant, as appears from Eusebius, (de Preep. Evang. 1. 1,5, 10 ;) St. Jerom, (Pra;f. Comm. in Gal.,) &c. 
Hierocles, a judge and cruel persecutor of the Christians, first at Nicomedia, afterwards at Alexandria, in 
the reign of Dioclesian, wrote a bitter book against the Christians, entitled Philalethes, in which he only 
repeated the slanders of Celsus and Porphyrius, and drew a supposed parallel between the miracles of 
Christ and the pretended miracles of Apollonius Tyanaeus, borrowed from the fabulous life of that famous 
impostor and magician, written by Philostratus : of which absurd blasphemy Eusebius of Cssarea pub- 
lished an ample confutation. Julian the Apostate, after trying in vain every other expedient to extirpate 
Christianity, set himself to write against that divine religion. He had the advantage of the most perfect 
knowledge of its doctrine, and of whatever the philosoph'-'ife and Je\vish or pagan historians could furnish 
against it : yet was not able to start any objection deserving a serious regard, 4,ir that could be a solid apology 
for his apostacy. St. Gregory Nazianzen and Saint Cyril of Alexandria answered his cavils. From the 
latter it appears that he laid his main stress upon the want of -.ntiquity in the Christian religion ; as if 
Moses, who foretold Christ throughout the whole dispensation A.?the Old Law, was not far more ancient 
than all the philosophers, not to mention Abrajiam, &p-^JlSecondly, he i.i.-isted on the authority of pagan 
philosophers. Thirdly, he argues liidicrously on seversrt^assaLes of the i*'' -lic history, not from reason, 
but witli a low ridicule unbecoming so serious a subject. Las.ty, he scorr'uliy insults the person and suf- 
ferings of Christ. It is happy for religion that the objections of Julian ha>o been transmitted down to our 
times : otherwise some might have imagined that this learned emperor had sufficient reasons for his apos- 
tacy. But nothing more visibly betrays the weakness of infidelity, nor more strengthens the cause 
of truth. 

Of all these writers, Celsus is the most crafty and subtle. He wrote with the most refined fallacy that 
sophistry could invent, with an air of positiveness to impose upon the vulgar, and all the advantages that 
wit and fine raillery could give ; he was also master of all the difficulties that an extensive knowledge, 
seconded by artifice and management, could object. On the other side, Origen, with all the force and 
solidity of right reason, reduces every argument to its true principles, follows his adversary step by step, 
convicts him of i;ilsehood in point of facts, sets in the true light things which his adversary disguised or 
smothered, and establishes the truth of the Christian doctrine by the evidence of facts and of its history. 
Eusebius (I. ad Hieroclem) and St. Jerom (ep. adv. Magn.) say, that all objections that ever were, or can 
be made to Christianity, will find an answer in this work. Celsus objects the privacy of the assemblies of 
the Christians : that tiieir precepts of morality were not new. And though he does not deny that Christ 
wrought miracles, yet he ascribes them to magic. Origen, answering this last, says that miracles were 
still wrought in his time by the disciples of Christ, and that he had been himself an eye-witness of several, 
(1. 1. pp. 5, 7, 37.) Origen answers next his objections to the ancient prophecies, to the meanness of the 
disciples of Christ, to the descent of God on earth in Christ, and to various passages of the scriptures, (1. 2, 
3, 4.) He refutes the principle of Celsus, big with fatal consequences, that the Jews and other people 
ought to follow the customs and religion of their own country, (1. 5, p. 248.) He compares the prophets 
with the heathen philosophers, and shows that Christ had borrowed no points of his doctrine from Plato, 
as his adversaiy pretended, (1-5.) He proves the heathenish oracles to proceed from the devil, because 
their priestesses uttered them in fits of phrensy, and possessed by evil spirits, not knowing what they said ; 
and he displays the truth of the prophets, and the sanctity of the Christian morals, (1. 7.) Lastly, he says, 
that Christians adore both God, the Father of the Truth, and the Son, who is the Truth; 'and takes notice 
of the assiduity of prayer, the humility, contempt of the world, and other virtues practised by\he Chris- 
tians, (1. 8.) ■ ■ t 

Certain modem free-thinkers afifect to throw out surmises in the writings, that if these works of Celsus, 
Porphyrius, and .lulian had come down to us, they doubt not but they could have made their cause good.; 
But nothing could betray more their want of judgment or sincerity. A great part of Julian's three books 
upon this subject, St. Cyril has preserved us in his own words, omitting only some unn)eaning blasphe- . 
mies, as he assures us: and this specimen suffices to satisfy all modern enemies of Christianity, that this 
author oiily discovers his distress for want of any thing which might so much as wear the appearance of a 
solid objection. Porphyrius was still more senseless and extravagant in his silly enthusiasm. As for Cel- 
sus, Origen has mentione<l every thing material that he objected. By all which it is evident, that none of 
the early enemies of Christianity was able to charge the main of the gospel-history with any suspicion of . 
imposture in any of its circumstances : the only point our modern infidels want to make out from the wri- 
tings of their predecessors, who lived contemporary with these facts, and wanted neither power, nor abili- 

April 22.] 



Leonides was cast into prison. Origen, who was then only seventeen years 
of age, burned with an incredible desire of martyrdom, and sought every 
opportunity of meeting with it. But his mother conjured him not to forsake 
her : and seeing his ardor redoubled at the sight of his father's chains, was 
forced to lock up all his clothes to oblige him to stay at home. So, not be- 
ing able to do any more, he wrote a letter to his father in very moving terms, 
strongly exhorting him to look on the crown that was offered him with cour- 
age and joy ; adding this clause : " Take heed, sir, that for our sakes you 
do not change your mind." Leonides was accordingly beheaded for the 
faith, in 202. His estates and goods being all confiscated and seized for the 
emperor's use, his widow was left with seven children to maintain, in the 
poorest condition imaginable ; but divine providence was both her comfort 
and support. Suidas informs us, that St. Leonides was honored with the 
episcopal character ; which Dom. Vincent de la Rue confirms by the au- 
jfcority of two Vatican MS. copies of St. Jerom's catalogue of illustrious 
writers. See Euseb. Hist. 1. 6, c. 12, and Chron. ad an. 10, Severi. Also 
St. Jerom, Catal. c. 54. 



Engus invokes him among the principal saints who lay buried in the fa- 
mous church of Glendaloch. Colgan says he was ordained bishop before 
his death. See his»MS. continuation., 22 Apr. 

ties, nor^inclination to detect a fraud in them ; yet ttiis they were never able to do in anyone circumstance 
or miracle of Christ's life. And we cfiinot imagine they were wanting to jn-actise every art upon many of 
the eye-witnesses, esjjecially upon apostate Christians among the first disciples, who could not but be all 
conscious of a conspiracy in a cheat, had there been any. But the public evidence of these facts, and sin- 
cere humility and virtue of the witnesses, their multitude, unanimity, and constancy, in the testimony they 
gave to the miracles and other events, removed all possibility of doubt. We must add, that this their tes- 
timony they maintained agait. -ill human motives and .passions, and joyfully sealed the same with their 
death, and under every sort of ' rment and siifferiitf >_! cannot dismiss this subject without mentioning 
two other reflections. First, that it is an undoubted^Cmter of fact, that of all the adversaries that attacked 
Christianity at the beginning, not one ever had the asjbrance to return to the charge after the first defeat ; 
and no pagan attempted to answer Origen or any other of our apologists. When the spirit of controversy 
which is always so keen, subtle, and fertile, is driven to this extremity, we need not ask whether the an- 
swers that forced them were solid. Secondly, all these adversaries confessed the truth of the miracles 
wrought by Christ and his apostles, and could make no other reply than by ascrihing them to magic : which 
is a clear proof of the undoubted evidence of the facts. See the testimonies of Celsus, (in Origen, 1. 1 and 
2,) of the Jews, (in Tertullian contra Judce. c. 9, p. 48,) of Julian the Apostate, (in St. Cj'ril, 1. 6, p. 191, t. 
6, part 2,) of Porphyrius, as St. Jerom testifies, (1. contr. Vigilant.,) &c. As to the testimony of Origen con- 
cerning miracles wrought in his time, Mr. Jortin writes as follows, (t. 2, p. 249.) " He speaks of miracles 
which were perforined even then, as healing the sick, and casting out devils by invocation of Jesus, and 
he mentions some who were converted to Christianity by visions and revelations. He speaks of some of 
these things as one who was well-informed, and he appeals to God that what he says is true. Thus nuich 
may be alhrmed, that he was utterly incapable of afllrniing a fact which he knew or suspected to be false." 
It isjirobable that among other conversions efiiscted by visions, he had- in his thoughts that of Basilides by 
a vision of St. Potamiosna, who was a disciple of Origen. See her 'litis. That Origen was an advocate for 
the divinity or consubstantiality of the Son, and his doctrine on the article of the Trinity orthodox, is excel- 
lently shown against Petavius and Huet, by Maraud, De Divinitate Ohristi, 1. 4, c. 14, 15, 16. Bull, De- 
fensio fidei Nicenae, c. 9. Witasse, Tournely, and at length by Dom. Charles Vincent de la Kue, Notis in 
Huetii Origeniana, 1. 2, c. 2, p. 107, ad p. 139,' t. 4, parte 2. This letter strenuously clears his doctrine of the 
charge of Pelagianism, ib. I. 2, qu. 7, p. 192. .Huet, though carried away by the authority of his friend, F. 
Petau, the most declared adversary of Origen, condemns him with too great severity, yet demonstrates that 
he never maintained -his errors with obstinacy, which is required to the guilt of heresy. (Origeniana, I. 2, 
c. 3, n. 19, and c. 4.) Nevertheless, that he for some time denied the eternity of the torments of hell, is 
clear both from the torrent of the fathers and councils, and from his genuine writings, such as were depos- 
ited by himin the library of Ccesarea. (See Huet, Origen. 1. 2, c. 11.) Nor does Dom. Charies Vincent de 
la Rue otfer to vindicate him from the charge of having maintained this and certain other errors relating 
to the human soul, angels, &c The Benedictiri complete edition of Origen's works was undertaken by 
■ Dom. Charles dela Euej who published two volumes, and prepared the third. His nephew, Charles Vin- 
cent de la Rue, took care to have this printed in 1749, and added himself, in 1759, the fourth or last volume, 
with cTirious judicious critical notes on several parts of Huet's Origeniana; wherein he clears his author 
of many things laid to his charge by Huet, and especially by that learned prelate's friend, F. Petau: yet 
shows, against Halloix, Tillemont, and Ceillier, that 'ne certainly fell into several dangerous errors against 
the eternity of hell torments, &,c., though never with obstinacy; and that he undoubtedly died in the 
bosom of the Catholic church. 



[April 23. 




St. George is honored in the Catholic church as one of the most illus- 
trious martyrs of Christ. The Greeks have long distinguished him by the 
title of The Great Martyr, and keep his festival a holiday of obligation. 
There stood formerly in Constantinople five or six churches dedicated in his 
honor ; the oldest of which was always said to have been built by Constan- 
tine the Great ; who seems also to have been the founder of the church of 
St. George, which stood over his tomb in Palestine. Both these churches 
were certainly built under the first Christian emperors. In the middle of 
the sixth age the emperor Justinian erected a new church, in honor of this 
saint, in Bizanes, in Lesser Armenia : the emperor Mauritius founded one 
in Constantinople. It is related in the life of St. Theodoras of Siceon, that 
he served God a long while in a chapel which bore the name of St. George, 
had a particular devotion to this glorious martyr, and strongly recommended 
the same to Mauritius, when he foretold him the empire. One of the 
churches of St. George in Constantinople, called Manganes, with a monas- 
tery adjoining, gave to the Hellespont ^he name of the Arm of St. George. 
To this day is St. George honored as -principal patron or tutelar saint by 
several eastern nations, particularly the Georgians. The Byzantine histo- 
rians relate several battles to have been gained, and other miracles wrought 
through his intercession. From frequent pilgrimages to his church and 
tomb in Palestine, performed by those who visited the Holy Land, his ven- 
eration was much propagated over th^''West. St. Gregory of Tours men- 
tions him as highly celebrated in France in the sixth century.' St. Gregory 
the Great ordered an old church of St. George, which was fallen to decay, 
to be repaired.^ His office is found in the sacramentary of that pope, and 
many others.^ St. Clotildis, wife of Clovis, the first Christian king of 
France, erected altars under his name ; and the church of Chelles, built by 
her, was originally dedicated in his honor. The ancient life of Droctovseus 
mentions, that certain relics of St. George were placed in the church of St. 
Vincent, now called St. Germaris, in Paris, when it was first consecrated. 
Fortunatus of Poitiers wrote an epigram on a church of St. George, in Mentz. 
The intercession of this saint was implored especially in battles, and by 
Avarriors, as appears by several instances in the Byzantine history, and he 
is said to have been himself a great soldier. He is at this day the tutelar 
saint of the republic of Genoa ; and was chosen by our ancestors in the 
same quality under our first Norman kings. The great national council, 
held at Oxford in 1222, commanded his feast to be kept a holiday of the les- 
ser rank throughout all England.^ Under his name and ensign was insti- 
tuted by our victorious king Edward III., in 1330, the most noble order of 
knighthood in Europe, consisting of twenty-five knights, beside the sover- 
eign. Its establishment is dated fifty years before the knights of St. Mi- 
chael were instituted in France, by Louis XL; eighty years before the order 
of the Golden Fleece, established by Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy; , 

1 L. de Glor. Mart. c. 101. 

3 Not. Menardi in Sacram. S. Greg. 

2 L. 19, ep. 73, p. 1173, ed. Ben. 
4 Cone. 1. 11, p. 275. 

April 23. J s, george, m. 145 

and one hundred and ninety before the order of St. Andrew was set up in 
Scotland by James V. The emperor Frederick IV. instituted, in 1470, an 
order of knights in honor of St. George ; and an honorable military order in 
Venice bears his name.^ 

The extraordinary devotion of all Christendom to this saint,* is an au- 
thentic proof how glorious his triumph and name have always been in the 
church. All his acts relate, that he suffered under Dioclesian, atNicomedia. 
Joseph Assemani^ shows, from the unanimous consent of all churches, that 
he was crowned on the 23d of April. According to the account given us 
by Metaphrastes, he was born in Cappadocia, of noble Christian ^larents. 
After the death of his father, he went with his mother into Palestine, she 
being a native of that country, and having there a considerable estate, 
which fell to her son George. He was strong and robust in body, and 
having embraced the profession of a soldier, was made a tribune, or colonel 
in the army. By his courage and conduct, he was soon preferred to higher 
stations by the emperor Dioclesian. When that prince waged war against 
the Christian religion, St. George laid aside the marks of his dignity, threw 
up his commission and posts, and complained to the emperor himself of his 
severities and bloody edicts. He was immediately cast into prison, and 
tried, first by promises, and afterwards put to the question, and tortured with 
great cruelty : but nothing could shake his constancy. The next day he 
was led through the city and beheaded. Some think him to have been the 
same illustrious young man who tore down the edicts when they were first fixed 
up at Nicoraedia,t as Lactantius relates in his book, On the Death of the 
Persecutors, and Eusebius in his history.^ The reason why St. George 
has been regarded as the patron of military men, is partly upon the score 
of his profession, and partly upon the credit of a relation of his appearing 
to the Christian army in the holy war, before the battle of Antioch. The 
success of this battle proving fortunate to the Christians, under Godfrey of 
Bouillon, made the name of St. George more famous in Europe, and dis- 
posed the military men to implore more particularly his intercession. This 
devotion was confirmed, as it is said; by an apparition of St. George to our 
king, Richard I., in his expedition against the Saracens : which vision, 
being declared to the troops, was to them a great encouragement, and they 
soon after defeated the enemy.^ St. George is usually painted on horse- 
back, and tilting at a dragon, under his feet : but this representation is no 

5 See F. Hnnnre, Hist, des Ordres de Ohevalerie, t. 4. Also Ashmole's Order of the Garter ; Anstis's 
Register; and Pott's Antiquities of Windsor and Hist, of tiiis Order, 4to. 1749, with the WS. notes of Dr. 
Busvvel, canon of W^estminster. 

6 Jos. Assemani in Calend. Univer. t. G, p. 2S4. See J\I6moires de l'Acad6niie des Inscript. t. 20 
p. 430. 

"> See the Acts of St. Anthimus and Comp. 8 gee Dr. Heylin's History of St. George. 

* Certain ancient heretics forged fiilse acts of St. George, which the learned pope Gelasiiis condemned 
in his famous Roman council in 404. Calvin and the Centuriators call him an imaginary saint : l)ut their 
slander is confuted by most authentic titles and monuments. Jurieu, (Apol. de Reform, t. ],) Reynold*, 
and Echard blush not to confound him with George the Arian, usurper of the see of Alexandria, the 
infamous persecutor of St. Athanasius and the Catholics, whom he endeavored to dragoon into Arianisni. 
by butchering great numliers, banishing their bishops, plundering the houses of orphans and widows, and 
outraging the nuns with the utmost barbarity, till the Gentiles, exasperated by his cruelties and scanda- 
lous behavior, massacred him, under Julian. The stories of ihc combat of St. George with the magician 
Athanasius, and the like trumpery, came from the mint of the Arians, as Baronius takes notice: and we 
find them rejected by pope Gelasius and the other Otholics, who were too well acipiainted with the 
Arian wolf, whose acts they condemned, to confound him with this illustrious martyr of Christ ; though 
the forgeries of the heretics have been so blended with the truth in the history of this holy martyr, that, 
as we have it, there is no means of separating the sterling from the counterfeit. See, in Ur. Heylin's 
History of St. George, the testimonies of writers in every age from Gelasius I. in 492, downwards, con- 
cerning tViis holy martyr. 

t The proofs of this plausible conjecture, see in Papebroke, on St. George, sect. 4, Apr. t. 3, p. 107. Euse- 
bius mentions this anonymous martyr to have been apprehended at Nicomedia, the first victim of the 
persecution, upon the approach of Easter-day, which fell that reason the )8th of April ; so that he 
seems to have been apprehended on Good Friday, and after having been tortured for eight days, to have 
received his crown on the Friday following, the 23d of April. His body was most easily transported, in 
the time of the persecution, from Nicomedia, near the Propontis, into the Mediterranean sea, and to Joppe, 
in Palestine. See also Jos. Assemani Comment, in Cal. [Jniv. 

VOL. II. 19 

146 S. ADALBEET, B. M. [ApRIL 23. 

more than an emblematical figure, purporting, that, by his faith and Chris- 
tian fortitude, he conquered the devil, called the dragon in the Apocalypse. 

Though many dishonor the profession of arms by a licentiousness of 
manners, yet, to show us that perfect sanctity is attainable in all states, we 
find the names of more soldiers recorded in the martyrologies than almost 
of any other profession. Every true disciple of Christ must be a martyr 
in the disposition of his heart, as he must be ready to lose all, and to suff'er 
any thing, rather than to offend God. Every good Christian is also a 
martyr, by the patience and courage with which he bears all trials. There 
is no virtue more necessary, nor of which the exercise ought to be more 
frequent, than patience. In this mortal life we have continually something 
to suffer from disappointments in aflairs, from the severity of the seasons, 
from the injustice, caprice, peevishness, jealousy, or antipathy of others ; 
and from ourselves, in pains either of mind or body. Even our own weak- 
nesses and faults are to us subjects of patience. And as we have con- 
tinually many burdens, both of our own and others, to bear, it is only in 
patience that we are to possess our souls.* This affords us comfort in all 
our suff'erings, and maintains our souls in unshaken tranquillity and peace. 
This is true greatness of mind, and the virtue of heroic souls. But alas ! 
every accident ruffles and disturbs us : and we are insupportable even to 
ourselves. What comfort should we find, what peace should we enjoy, 
what treasiu'es of virtue should we heap up, what a harvest of merits should 
we reap, if we had learned the true spirit of Christian patience ! This is 
the martyrdom, and the crown of every faithful disciple of Christ. 


He was born of noble parentage in Bohemia, in 956, and received at 
baptism the name of Woytiech, which, in the Sclavonian tongue, signifies. 
Help of the Army. In his childhood his parents saw themselves in great 
danger of losing him by sickness, and in that extremity, consecrated him 
to God by vow, before the altar of the Blessed Virgin, saying : •' Lord, 
let not this son live to us, but to you, among the clergy, and under the pat- 
ronage of your Mother." The child, hereupon recovering, was sent by 
them, without delay, to Adalbert, archbishop of Magdebourg, to be educated 
in piety and learning. The archbishop provided him with the ablest mas- 
ters, and, at confirmation, gave him his own name, Adalbert, or Albert. 
The noble pupil, in his progress in learning, outdid the highest expectations 
of his spiritual father and master : but made piety his principal study. The 
hours of recreation he spent chiefly in prayer, and in secretly visiting and 
relieving the poor and the sick. After nine years the archbishop died, in 
981, and our saint returned into Bohemia, with a useful library which he 
had collected. In 983, he was promoted to holy orders by Diethmar, 
bishop of Prague. That prelate fell sick soon after, and drawing near his 
end, cried out, in a manner that terrified all the bystanders, that the devils 
were ready to seize his soul on account of his having neglected the duties 
of his charge, and pursued with eagerness the riches, honors, and pleas- 
ures of the world. Adalbert, who had been present at that prelate's death 
in these sentiments, was not only terrified with the rest, but being touched 
with the liveliest sentiments of compunction for whatever he had done amiss 
in the former part of his life, put on a hair-shirt, went from church to church 
in the habit of a penitent to implore God's mercy, and dealt out his alms 

April 23.] s. Adalbert, b, m. 147 

with a very liberal hand. An assembly was held a few days after for the 
choice of a successor, and Adalbert's opposition proving ineffectual to prevent 
his election to the vacant bishopric, he received episcopal ordination at the 
hands of the archbishop of Mentz, in 983. From that day he was never seen 
to smile, and being agked the reason, made this answer: " It is an easy thing 
to wear the mitre and a cross ; but it is a most dreadful circumstance to have 
an account to give of a bishopric to the Judge of the living and the dead." 
He entered Prague barefoot, and was received by Boleslas, prince of Bohe- 
mia, and all the people, with great joy. His first care was to divide the rev- 
enues of his see into four parts, allotting the first to the support of the 
fabric and ornaments of his church ; the second to the maintenance of his 
canons ; and the third to the relief of the poor : reserving the fourth for 
himself and his household, in which he constantly maintained twelve poor 
men, in honor of the twelve apostles, and allowed provisions to a much 
greater number on festivals, besides employing his own patrimony in alms. 
He had in his chamber a good bed, but on which he never lay ; taking his 
short rest on a sackcloth, or on the bare floor. His fasts were frequent, 
and his whole life most austere. He preached almost every day, and visited 
the poor in their cottages, and the prisoners in their dungeons. A great 
part of his diocese had continued till then involved in the shades of idolatry, 
and the rest mere barbarians in their manners, slaves to their passions, and 
Christians only in name. Finding them, by inveterate habits and long con- 
nivance, incorrigibly fixed in their evil courses, he made a journey to Rome, 
and obtained of pope John XV. leave to retire, in 989. He visited mount 
Cassino, and put on the monastic habit, together with his brother Gauden- 
tius, at St. Boniface's in Rome. He took the last place in the monastery, and 
preferred always the meanest offices in the house. After five years, the 
archbishop of Mentz, in 994, urged the pope to send him back to his 
bishopric. His Holiness, upon mature deliberation on the affair, ordered 
him to return ; but declared him at full liberty to withdraw a second time, 
in case the people continued disobedient and incorrigible as before. At 
his arrival in Prague, the inhabitants received him with great acclamations, 
and readily promised an exact obedience to his directions, but proved as 
deaf to his admonitions as ever. Seeing himself useless here, and only in 
danger of losing his own soul, he left them, pursuant to the license he had 
received, and preached the gospel in Hungary; where, among others, he 
instructed their king, Stephen, famous afterwards for his sanctity. Though 
this event more probably happened on his former departure from Prague, 
about six years before. At his return to his monastery, in Rome, his abbot, 
Leo, made him prior, in which station he behaved with his usual humility, 
and condescension to the meanest officers of the house. The emperor, 
Otho III., was so much delighted with his conversation, that he could scarce 
bear him out of his sight. At the repeated solicitations of the archbishop 
of Mentz, pope Gregory V. sent him once more to his diocese. On the 
news of his approach, the barbarous citizens, having at their head Boleslas, 
the wicked prince of Bohemia, massacred several of his relations, and 
burnt their castles and towns. The bishop, being informed of these out- 
rageous measures, instead of proceeding on his journey to Prague, went to 
his friend, Boleslas, then duke, and afterwards the first king of Poland, who, 
after some time, advised him to send deputies to the people of Prague, to 
know if they would admit him as their bishop, and obey his directions, or 
not. The message was received with scorn, and they returned for answer, 
that there was too great an opposition between his ways and theirs, for 
him to expect to live in peace among them : that they were convinced it 
was not a zealip reform them, but a desire to revenge the death of his re- 



[April 23. 

lations, that prompted him to seek a readmission ; which, if he attempted, 
he might be assured of meeting with a very indifferent reception. The 
saint took this refusal of his people for a sufficient discharge for the present, 
which made him direct his thoughts to the conversion of infidels, with which 
Poland and Prussia then abounded. Having converted great numbers in 
Poland, he, with his two companions, Bennet and Gaudentius, went into 
Prussia, which had not as yet received the light of the gospel, and made 
many converts at Dantzic. Being conveyed thence into a small island, 
they were presently surrounded by the savage inhabitants, who loaded them 
with injuries ; and one of them coming behind the saint, as he was reciting 
the psalter, knocked him down Avith the oar of a boat, upon which he re- 
turned thanks to God, for thinking him worthy to suffer for the sake of his 
crucified Redeemer. St. Adalbert and his companions attempted after this 
to preach the gospel in another place in the neighborhood, but with no better 
success ; being told on their arrival that if they did not depart the next day, 
it should cost them their lives. They accordingly withdrew, in order to 
provide for their safety, and had laid themselves down to take a little rest 
after their fatigues ; when, being pursued, they were overtaken by a party 
of the infidels, by whom they were seized and bound, as victims destined 
for a sacrifice. St. Adalbert offered his life to God by an ardent prayer, 
iu which he begged of him the pardon and salvation of his murderers. 
The priest of the idols first pierced him in the breast with his lance, say- 
ing : " You ought now to rejoice ; for you had it always in your mouth that 
it was your desire to die for Christ." Six others gave him each a stab with 
their lances ; of which seven wounds he died on the 23d of April, 997. 
The heathens cut off his head, and fixed it on a pole : his two companions 
they carried away captives. Boleslas, duke of Poland, bought the corpse 
of the martyr at a great price, and translated it to the abbey of Tremezno, 
with great solemnity, and from thence, in 998, to Gnesna, where it is kept 
with great honor in the cathedral, and has been rendered famous by many 
miracles. In the catalogue of the rich treasury of relics, kept in the elec- 
toral palace of Hanover, printed at Hanover, in folio, in 1713, is mentioned 
a portion of those of St. Adalbert in a precious shrine. 

St. Adalbert is styled the apostle of Prussia, though he only planted the 
faith at Dantzic. The present king of Prussia, in his elegant memoirs of 
the house of Brandenburgh,' tells us that the conversion of the country of 
Brandenburgh was begun by the conquests and zeal of Charlemagne, and 
completed in 928, under Henry the Fowler, who again subdued that terri- 
tory : that the Prussians were originally Sarinatians, the most savage of all 
the northern idolaters ; that they adored their idols under oak trees, being 
strangers to the elegance of temples : and that they sacrificed prisoners, 
taken from their enemies, to their false gods. After the martyrdom of St. 
Edalbert, three kings of Poland, all named Boleslas, attempted in vain to 
subdue them. The TeiUonic knights, in 1239, conquered that country, and 
planted Christianity in it. See the two lives of St. Adalbert, written soon 
after his death, with remarks of Henschenius, Apr. t. 3, p. 174. Also John 
Dlugloss, alias Longinus, Hist. Poionica, p. 112; Dithmar, Chronici, 1. 4, 
and Chronicon Hildesheimense. 


Gerard was descended of a noble family, and born at Cologne. His 
father's name was Ingranne : his mother, who was called Emma, was struck 

1 p. 36 and 264. A 

April 23.] 



dead with lightning. Gerard, then in his youth, was much afflicted at this 
accident, and from that time consecrated himself entirely to a life of pen- 
ance and devotion. Some time after he took the clerical tonsure, and en- 
tered himself in a community of clergy, who performed the divine office in 
the church of St. Peter, which was the cathedral, and followed the institute 
of the regular canons, probably either of St. Chrodegang or of Aix-la- 
Chapelle. The reputation of Gerard's fervent piety reached the imperial 
court, and while he was cellarer in this community he was promoted to the 
bishopric of Toul, vacant by the death of St. Gauzlin, in the beginning of 
the year 963. Bruno, archbishop of Cologne and duke of Lorraine, prime 
minister or general lieutenant of the empire to his brother Otho I., advanced 
him to that dignity, which the saint accepted only by compulsion and in 
obedience to his superiors. He recited every day thirteen canonical hours 
by joining the office of the monks with that of the canons, of which we 
have several other examples in that age. The holy scriptures and the lives 
of the saints he read daily, and meditated on them good part of the night. 
He had an extraordinary talent at preaching, which he exercised with great 
assiduity, often sending zealous clergymen to preach in country parishes. 
He rebuilt his cathedral, dedicated to St. Stephen, in 981, though the struc- 
ture which we now see was only raised in 1447. The monastery of St. 
Evre, or Aper, (which had been founded by that holy bishop of Toul towards 
the end of the fifth century,) was enriched by our saint, in which his prede- 
cessor, St. Gauzlin, had settled the rule of St. Bennet, till then unknown in 
that province, says Widric. Le Cointe, and F. Benoit, the Capuchin,' think 
the rule of Agaunum, or rather that of St. Columban, was before observed 
in that house. St. Gauzlin had founded in another suburb of Toul, a new 
monastery in honor of St. Mansuy or Mansuet, the first apostle of that coun- 
try. This St. Gerard took particularly under his protection, and became its 
principal and most munificent founder. The church of St. Gengou and 
Toul, and some others, were also founded by St. Gerard, who, out of devo- 
tion to St. Martin, whom he regarded as his principal patron and model, was 
a particular benefactor to the monastery of St. Martin, on the Meuse, near 
Sorcy, in his diocese. In 981 he made a pilgrimage to Rome, and in 982 
exerted his charity in a wonderful manner in relieving the poor in his dio- 
cese in the time of a great famine, and afterwards under a dreadful pesti- 
lence. All the abbeys of the country were recommended to his care by the 
emperor Otho II., in 974, and he founded the great hospital at Toul : also a 
community of Scottish (or Irish) and Greek monks. The reputation of the 
Scottish monks, whom St. Cadroe had lately placed at St. Clement's, at 
Metz, and in other parts, was such, that St. Gerard thought something want- 
ing to his diocese till he had procured a settlement for some of these ser- 
vants of God in it. These Greek monks established schools in their lan- 
guage, which were very useful and remarkable, as appears by the great 
progress which cardinal Humbert, in his youth a monk at Moien-Moutier in 
Lorraine, and many others, made in that literature. The Scots also taught 
the sciences. Fur, by the great encouragement which St. Gauzlin and St. 
Gerard gave to learned men and to useful studies, during the sixty years 
which they successively governed the diocese of Toul, it became one of the 
most flourishing provinces in the church for learning and piety. ^ St. Ge- 
rard dreaded that learning, which makes not men more humble and more 
virtuous. To shun this fatal rock, upon which so many students split, he 
took great care that all scholars, especially those who were destined to the 
church, applied themselves still with greater solicitude and assiduity to all 

1 Benoit Picard, Hist, de Toul, p. 234. 

2 See Dom. Clemencez, Hist. Liter, t. 6, pp. 29 and 57. 


[April 23. 

the exercises of an interior life than to their studies. By making this the 
constant rule of his own conduct, he had not the regret which a certain 
great man^ is said to have expressed in his last moments, for having taken 
more pains to cultivate his imderstanding with science than to correct and 
improve his will by virtue. By mortification, compunction, and heavenly 
contemplation, he nourished in his soul a constant spirit of devotion, which 
is the spring of a spiritual life, and which consists in a close, uninterrupted 
union of the heart to God. By this he daily forgot the world, and banished 
its love more and more perfectly out of his heart, purified more and more 
its affections, and raised his soul continually to higher degrees of perfection 
in the divine love, and in all other virtues. In his heavenly contemplations 
he found, by his own experience, in a manner which words can never teach, 
that in the lowest degree of this exercise God often communicates himself 
to a soul with such excess of sweetness, that a thousand years spent in all 
the pleasures which the world can afford, bear no proportion to what a soul 
tastes in one minute with her God. His conversation had such charms to 
him, and his divine love filled his soul with such inexpressible chaste de- 
lights, that it seemed as it were impossible to him for his soul to love any 
other thing but God, or to find any satisfaction but in him, and in his love 
and holy will. St. Gerard passed from these exercises and labors to the full 
possession of God in the eternal kingdom of his glory, on the night between 
the 22d and 23d of April, in the year 994, having been bishop thirty-one 
years. Widric, the learned and pious abbot of St. Aper's, or Evre's, at 
Toul, and reformer of that and several other great abbeys in those parts, by 
order of Bruno, who was made bishop of Toul in 1026, wrote the life of St. 
Gerard. Bruno being raised to the popedom in 1048, under the name of Leo 
IX., canonized St. Gerard with great pomp in a council which he held at 
Rome, in 1050.'' Being at Toul the same year, he caused his body to be 
taken up and enshrined on the 30th of October.* After this ceremony Widric 
added a second book to the life of St. Gerard, on his canonization ; and 
afterwards a third, on the translation of his relics, whh an account of some 
miracles. This work, which is edifying, and well written, is given imper- 
fect by Henschenius,^ IduI entire by Dom. Martenne,^ and by Dom. Calmet, 
in his proofs of his history of Lorraine.^ It had been before published in 
French, with long notes, by F. Benedict Picard, the Capuchin, in 1700, 
in 12mo. That author reprinted the same in his Ecclesiastical and Civil 
History of Toul, which he published in that city in 1707. 


The acts of St. Ibar, and some other monuments say, that he was or- 
dained bishop at Rome, and preached in Ireland with St. Kiaran, St. Ail- 
beus, and St. Declan, a little before St. Patrick arrived there ; but others, 
quoted by Usher, tell us that St. Ibar was consecrated bishop by St. Pat- 
rick. He preached in Meath and Leinster, and built a monastery in Beg- 
erin, or Little Ireland, a small island on the coast of Kenselach, (which was 
anciently a considerable province of Leinster.) In this monastery he trained 
up, with many others, St. Abban, his nephew by his sister Mella, married to 
Cormac, king of Leinster. St. Abban was afterwards abbot of the monas- 
tery of Magarnoide, in Kenselach. St. Ibar divided his time between the 

3 Cardinal du Perron. 

4 See his decretnl for this canonization in Widric, 1. 2 ; Mabillon, Swc. 5 ; Ben. et Ar.nal. t. 4 ; Item in 
Novo Codice canonizationum, et Cone. t. 6, part 1, ed. Regife Paris, 1714. 

6 Bened. XIV. de Canoniz. 1. 1, c. 8, n. 8, t. 1, p. 63. « Holland, t. 3, Apr. pp. 206, 213. 

' Anec. t. 3, p. 1048. ^ App. Mon. t. 4, pt. 2, p. 137. 

April 24.] 



labors of his apostolic mission in the country, and the sweet repose of con- 
templation in his monastery, where he died about the year 500, according 
to the Ulster annals. His relics were kept with singular veneration in this 
monastery of Beg-erin. See Usher's Antiq. c. 16, p. 414, and Chron. ib. 
p. 515. Also Colgan's MSS. 22 Apr. 



From the process of his canonization, and other memoirs, collected by F. Theodore of Paris, of the same 
order of Capuchin friars. See the acts of the canonization of SS. Fidelis of Sigmarengen, Caniillus de 
Lellis, Peter Regalati, Joseph of Leonissa and Catharine Ricci, by Benedict XIV., printed in 1749, folio. 
On St. Fidelis, pp. 101, 179, and the bull for his canonization, p. 516. 

A. D. 1622. 

He was born in 1577, at Sigmarengen, a town in Germany, in the prin- 
cipality of HoinvenzoUen. The name of his father was John Rey. The 
saint was christened Mark, performed his studies in the university of 
Fribourg in Switzerland, and while he taught philosophy, commenced doc- 
tor of laws. He at that time never drank wine, and wore a hair-shirt. His 
modesty, meekness, chastity, and all other virtues, charmed all that had the 
happiness of his acquaintance. In 1604, he accompanied three young gen- 
tlemen of that country on their travels through the principal parts of Europe. 
During si's years, which he continued in this employment, he never ceased 
to instil into them the most heroic and tender sentiments of piety. He re- 
ceived the holy sacrament very frequently, particularly on all the principal 
holidays : in every town where he came, he visited the hospitals and 
churches, passed several hours on his knees in the presence of the blessed 
sacrament, and gaye to the poor sometimes the very clothes off his back. 
After this he practised the law in quality of counsellor or advocate, at Col- 
mar, in Alsace, with great reputation, but with greater virtue. Justice and 
religion directed all his actions. He scrupulously forbore all invectives, de- 
tractions, and whatever might affect the reputation of any adversary. His 
charity procured him the surname of counsellor and advocate for the poor : 
but the injustices of a colleague in protracting lawsuits for gain, and his 
finding fault with our saint for producing all his proofs for his clients in the 
beginning, in order to the quicker dispatch, gave him a disgust of a profes- 
sion which was to many an occasion of sin, and determined him to enter 
among the Capuchin fria^* He first received holy orders, and having said 
his first mass in their cdHw^ent at Fribourg, on the feast of St. Francis, in 
1612, he consecrated himself to God by taking the habit. The guardian 
gave him, in religion, the name of Fidelis, or Faithful, alluding to that text 
of the Apocalypse which promises a crown of life to him who shall continue 
faithful to the end. From that moment humiliations, macerations, and im- 
plicit obedience were his delight. He overcame temptations by discover- 
ing them to his director, and submitting to his advice with regard to his con- 
duct under them. By his last will, he bequeathed his patrimony to the 
bishop's seminary, for the establishment of a fund for the support of poor 
students, to whom he also left his library ; and gave the remainder of his 

* These are an austere reformation of the Franciscans, or Gray-Friars, commenced in Italy in 1528, by 
friar Matthew de Basel, and approved by Clement VIll. 



[April 24. 

substance to the poor. In regard to dress and furniture, he always chose 
that for his own use which was the least valuable and convenient. He fast- 
ed Advent, Lent, and Vigils, on bread and water, with dried fruits, tasting 
nothing which had been dressed by fire. His life was a continued prayer 
and recollection, and at his devotions he seemed rather like an angel than a 
man. His earnest and perpetual petition to God was, that he would always 
preserve him from sin, and from falling into tepidity or sloth in his service. 
He sought the most abject and most painful employments even when supe- 
rior ; knowing that God exalts those highest who have here humbled them- 
selves "the lowest and the nearest to their own nothingness. He had no 
sooner finished his course of theology, than he was employed in preaching 
and in hearing confessions; and being sent superior to the convent of Welt- 
kirchen, that town and many neighboring places were totally reformed by 
his zealous labors, and several Calvinists converted. The congregation de 
propaganda fide, sent to father Fidelis a commission to go and preach among 
the Grisons ; and he was the first missionary that was sent into those parts 
after that people had embraced Calvinism. Eight other fathers of his order 
were his assistants, and labored in this mission under his direction. The 
Calvinists of that territory, being incensed at his attempt, loudly threatened 
his life, and he prepared himself for martyrdom on entering upon this new 
harvest. Ralph de Salis, and another Calvinist gentleman, were converted 
by his first conferences. The missionary penetrated into Pretigout, a small 
district of the Grisons, in 1622, on the feast of the Epiphany, and gained 
every day new conquests to Christ ; the conversion of which souls ought to 
be regarded as more the fruit of the ardent prayers in which he passed great 
part of the nights, than of his sermons and conferences in the day. These 
wonderful eftects of his apostolic zeal, whereof the bishop of Coire sent a 
large and ftdl account to the congregation de propaganda, so enraged the 
Calvinists in that province, who had lately rebelled against the emperor, 
their sovereign, that they were determined to bear with them no longer. 
The holy father having notice of it, thought of nothing but preparing him- 
self for his conflict, passing whole nights in fervent prayer before the bless- 
ed sacrament, or before his crucifix, and often prostrate on the ground. On 
the 24th of April, 1622, he made his confession to his companion with great 
compunction, said mass, and then preached at Gruch, a considerable bor- 
ouo-h. At the end of his sermon, which he delivered with more than ordi- 
nary fire, he stood silent on a sudden, with his eyes fixed on heaven, in an 
ecstasy, during some time. He foretold his death to several persons in the 
clearest terms, and subscribed his last letters in this manner: "Brother 
Fidelis, who will be shortly the food of worms." From Gruch he went to 
preach at Sevis, where, with great energy, he exhorted the Catholics to 
constancy in the faith. A Calvinist having discharged his musket at him in 
the church, the Catholics entreated him to leave the place. He answered, 
that death was his gain and his joy, and that he was ready to lay down his 
life in God's cause. On his road back to Gruch, he met twenty Calvinist 
soldiers with a minister at their head. They called him false prophet, and 
urged him to embrace their sect. He answered : " I am sent to you to con- 
fute, not to embrace your heresy. The Catholic religion is the faith of all 
ages, I fear not death." One of them beat him down to the ground by a 
stroke on the head with his backsword. The martyr rose again on his 
knees, and stretching out his arms in the form of a cross, said with a feeble 
voice : " Pardon my enemies, Lord : blinded by passion they know not 
what they do. Lord Jesus, have pity on me. Mary, mother of Jesus, assist 
me." Another stroke clove his skull, and he fell to the ground and lay wel- 
tering in his blood. 

The soldiers, not content with this, added many stabs 


April 24.] s. mellitus, b. c. 153 

in his body, and hacked his left leg, as they said, to punish him for his ma- 
ny journeys into those parts to preach to them. A Catholic woman lay con- 
cealed near the place during this butchery ; and after the soldiers were 
gone^ coming out to see the effects of it, found the martyr's eyes open, and 
fixed on the heavens. He died in 1622, the forty-fifth year of his age, and 
the tenth of his religious profession. He was buried by the Catholics the next 
day. The rebels were soon after defeated by the imperialists, an event 
which the martyr had foretold them. The minister was converted by this 
circumstance, and made a public abjuration of his heresy. After six months, 
the martyr's body was found incorrupt, but the head and left arm separate 
from the trunk. These being put into two cases, were translated from 
thence to the cathedral of Coire, at the earnest suit of the bishop, and laid 
under the high altar with great pomp ; the remainder of the corpse was de- 
posited in the Capuchin's church at Weltkirchen. Three miracles perform- 
ed by his relics and intercession, out of three hundred and five produced, 
are inserted in the decree of his beatification, published by pope Benedict 
XIII. , in 1729. Other miracles were proved, and the decree of his canon- 
ization was published by Benedict XIV., in 1746. The 24th of April is 
appointed the day of his festival, and his name is inserted in the Roman 
Martyrology. See the acts of his canonization : also his life, written by 
Dom. Placid, abbot of Weissenau, or Augia Brigantina, published by Dom. 
Bernard Fez, librarian in the famous abbey of Melch, in Austria, in his Bib- 
liotheca Ascetica, t. 10, p. 403. 

To contribute to the conversion of a soul from sin is something far more 
excellent than to raise a dead body to life. This must soon fall again a 
prey to death ; and only recovers by such a miracle the enjoyment of the 
frail and empty goods of this world. But the soul, which, from the death of 
sin, is raised to the life of grace, is immortal, and, from a slave of the devil 
and a firebrand of hell, passes to the inestimable dignity and privileges of a 
- child of God ; by which divine adoption she is rescued out of the abyss of 
infinite misery, and exalted to the most sublime state of glory and happiness, 
in which all the treasures of grace and of heaven are her portion forever. 
Hunger, thirst, v/atchings, labors, and a thousand martyrdoms, ought to seem 
nothing to one employed in the sacred ministry, with the hopes of gaining 
but one sinner to Christ. Moreover, God himself will be his recompense, 
who is witness, and keeps a faithful account of all his fatigues and least 


He was a Roman abbot, whom St. Gregory sent over hither in 601, at 
the head of a second colony of missioners to assist St. Austin, by whom he 
was ordained the first bishop of London, or of the East- Saxons, baptized 
Sebert the king, with a great part of his nation : and by his liberality, in 
604, laid the foundation of the cathedral church of St. Paul's, and, in 609, 
of the monastery of St. Peter, at Thorney, which was rebuilt by king Ed- 
gar, and again most sumptuously by St. Edward the Confessor, and is now 
called Westminster. This Christian and learned prince, dying about 616, 
left his dominions to his three sons, Sexred, Seward, and Sigebert, whom 
he had not been so happy as to recover from their idolatry, though they had 
kept their heathenism private during their father's life. After his death 
they declared themselves pagans, and gave their subjects the liberty of re- 
turning to their former idolatrous worship. Yet when they saw our holy 

VOL. II. — 20 

154 B. ROBERT, A. [ApRIL 24. 

bishop at the altar, and giving the blessed eucharist to the people, they 
would not be satisfied unless he would give them some of that fine white 
bread, as they called it, he was used to give their father. He told them their 
request should be granted, on condition they would be baptized, as th^r fa- 
ther was ; but this they would not hear of, alleging they had no need of 
baptism, but still insisted on receiving the consecrated bread ; and on the 
bishop's refusal to gratify them in their unreasonable request, they banished 
him their dominions. These three princes, after a reign of six years, go- 
ing on an expedition against the West-Saxons, were all three slain in bat- 
tle. But though the chief promoters of paganism were taken off, their 
people, being inured again to idolatry, did not return to the faith before the 
year 628, according to the Saxon annals. St. Mellitus passed over to 
France, but soon returned, and upon the death of St. Laurence, in 619, was 
translated to the see of Canterbury, being the third archbishop of that see. 
While sick of the gout, he, by his prayers, stopped a furious conflagration 
which had already laid no small part of that city in ashes, and which no 
hands had been able to get under. He died April the 24th, 624. See 
Bede, Le Neve's Fasti, Goscelin, and Capgrave. 



St. Bf.tjve was of the royal blood of France, nearly related to king 
Dagobert, and one of the principal ladies of the court. She edified the 
whole kingdom by her virtues in the world above thirty years, but rejected 
all solicitations to marry, desiring to devote herself entirely to the service of 
God. Her brother, St. Baudry, or Balderic, who had some years before 
founded the monastery of Montfaucon, which he governed in quality of abbot, 
built a nunnery in honor of the Blessed Virgin, in the suburbs of Rheims, 
in 639 : St. Beuve there took the religious habit, and, notwithstanding 
her tears and opposition, was chosen the first abbess of this house. By her 
example she conducted her religious sisters in the perfect spirit of humility, 
poverty, mortification, and prayer, and died in 673, leaving behind her a 
sweet odor of her sanctity and virtues to all France. She was succeeded 
by her niece, St. Doda, a faithful imitator of her spirit and virtues. The 
bodies of SS. Beuve and Doda were afterwards removed to St. Peter's ab- 
bey, within the city. The ancient history of their lives having been lost in 
a great fire, an anonymous author compiled another from the tradition of the 
nuns in the tenth century : a piece not much esteemed, omitted by Mabil- 
lon, but published by the BoUandists, 24 Apr. See, on these holy virgins, 
Flodoard, the learned canon of Rheims, who died in 966, in his curious 
History of the Church of Rheims, 1. 4, c. 38. 



He was brought up among the clergy of St. Julian's, at Brioude, and made 
canon and treasurer of that church. He built a hospital in that town, rebuilt 
about fifty churches, and, out of a love of solitude and penance, retired with 

April 25.] s. mark, evangelist. 155 

two companions to the spot where, three years after, he founded his abbey, 
in which he governed three hundred monks. It became the head of a con- 
gregation of several Benedictin monasteries, and in 1640, was aggregated to 
that of St. Maur. B. Robert died in 1067, on the 17th of April, and was 
interred on the 24th, on which he is honored at Chaise-Dieu, and in other 
places in Auvergne. See Mabillon, Chatelain, &c. 



From Eusebius, St. Jerom, &c., collected by TiUemont, t. 2. p. 89 ; Calmet, t. 7, &c. 

St. Mark was of Jewish extraction. The style of his gospel, abounding 
with Hebraisms, shows that he was by birth a Jew, and that the Hebrew 
language was more natural to him than the Greek. His acts say he was of 
Cyrenaica, and Bede from them adds, of the race of Aaron. Papias, quo- 
ted by Eusebius,' St. Austin,^ Theodoret, and Bede, say he was converted 
by the apostles after Christ's resurrection.* St. Irena3us^ calls him the dis- 
ciple and interpreter of St. Peter, and, according to Origen and St. Jerom, 
he is the same Mark whom St. Peter calls his son.'' By his office of inter- 
preter to St. Peter, some understood that St. Mark was the author of the 
style of his epistles ; others, that he was employed as a translator into 
Greek or Latin, of what the apostle had written in his own tongue, as occa- 
sion might require it. St. Jerom and some others take him to be the same 
with that John, surnamed Mark, son to the sister of St. Barnabas : but it is 
generally believed they were different persons : and that the latter was with 
St. Paul in the East, at the same time that the Evangelist was at Rome, or 
at Alexandria. According to Papias, and St. Clement* of Alexandria, he 
wrote his gospel at the request of the Romans ; who, as they relate,* de- 
sired to have that committed to writing which St. Peter had taught them by 
word of mouth. Mark, to whom this request was made, did accordingly 
set himself to recollect what he had by l(5?ig conversation learned from St. 
Peter ; for it is affirmed by some, that he had never seen our Saviour in the 
flesh. St. Peter rejoiced at the affection of the faithful ; and having re- 
vised the work, approved of it, and authorized it to be read in the religious 
assemblies of the faithful. Hence it might be, that, as we learn from Ter- 
tullian,*' some attributed this gospel to St. Peter himself.f Many judge, by 

1 Hist. b. 3, c. 39. 2 L. 1. de cons, evang. c. 1, and in Faust. 1. 17, c. 3. 

3 B. 3, c. 1. 4 1 Pet. V. 13. 

5 Eus. Hist. b. 2, c. 16. 6 Tert. cont. Marcion. b. 4, c. 5. 

* Tillemont and others, upon the authority of these fathers, say he never was a disciple of Christ, but 
only of the apostles. Yet St. Epiphanius tells us, he was one of the seventy-lwo disciples, and forsook 
Christ, after hearing his discourse on the Eucharist, John vi., but was converted by St. Peter after the 
resurrection, (Har. 51, c. 5, p. 528.) Tillemont (Note 2, sur S. Jenn Marc, t. 2, p. 5.56) maintains, that the 
evangelist was not John Mark, (who seems to have been the cousin of St. Barnabas,) because the latter 
desired to fullow SS. Paul and Barnabas, as an attendant, in 51 ; whereas the evangelist seems to have ar- 
rived in Egypt in 49, and to have written his gospel at Rome betbre that time. On the contrary, F. Combe- 
fis thinks that the evangelist and John Mark are the same person. And Stilting, the Bollandist, in the life 
of St. John Mark, shows this to be the most probable opinion, as nothing occurs in the sacred writings 
which proves them to have been different persons. See Stilting, t. 7, Sept. ad diem 27, p. 387. 

t St. Epiphanius, (Ha:!r. 51,) St. Gregory Nazianzen, (Or. 25, and carm. 34,) St. Jerom, (Cat.) &c., affirm 
the same. Baronius (ad an. 45) and Selden think his gospel was first vi'ritten in Latin, because it was 
compiled for the benefit of the Romans: but the Greek language was commonly understood among them. 
St. Austin, St. Jerom, and most of the ancients, suppose the Greek certainly to be the original , in- 



[April 25. 

comparing the two gospels, that St. Mark abridged that of St. Matthew ; for 
he relates the same things, and often uses the same words ; but he adds 
several particular circumstances, and changes the order of the narration, in 
which he agrees with St. Luke and St. John. He relates two histories not 
mentioned by St. Matthew, namely, that of the widow giving two mites,' and 
that of Christ's appearing to the two disciples going to Emmaus. St. 
Austin^ calls him the Abridger of St. Matthew. But Ceillier, and some 
others, think nothing clearly proves that he made use of St. Matthew's gos- 
pel. This evangelist is concise in his narrations, and writes with a most 
pleasing simplicity and elegance. St. Chrysostom^ admires the humility of 
St. Peter, (we may add also of his disciple St. Mark,) when he observes, 
that this evangelist makes no mention of the high commendations which 
Christ gave that apostle on his making that explicit confession of his being 
the Son of God ; neither does he mention his walking on the water ; but 
gives at full length the history of St. Peter's denying his Master, with all 
its circumstances. He wrote his gospel in Italy, and, in all appearance, be- 
fore the year of Christ, 49. 

St. Peter sent his disciples from Rome to found other churches. Some 
moderns say St. Mark founded that of Aquileia. It is certain at least that 
he was sent by St. Peter into Egypt, and was by him appointed bishop of 
Alexandria, (which, after Rome, was accounted the second city of the 
world,) as Eusebius, St. Epiphaniiis, St, Jerom, and others assure us. 
Pope Gelasius, in his Roman council, Palladius, and the Greeks, universal- 
ly add, that he finished his course at Alexandria, by a glorious martyrdom. 
St. Peter left Rome, and returned into the East in the ninth year of Clau- 
dius, and forty-ninth of Christ. About that time St. Mark went first into 
Egypt, according to the Greeks. The Oriental Chronicle, published by 
Abraham Eckellensis, places his arrival at Alexandria only in the seventh 
year of Nero, and sixtieth of Christ. Both which accounts agree with the 
relation of his martyrdom, contained in the ancient acts published by the 
Bollandists, which were made use of by Bede and the Oriental Chronicle, 
and seem to have been extant in Egypt in the fourth and fifth centuries. 
By them we are told that St. Mark landed at Cyrene, in Pentapolis, a part 
of Lybia bordering on Egypt, and, by innumerable miracles, brought many 
over to the faith, and demolished several temples of the idols. He likewise 
carried the gospel into other provinces of Lybia, into Thebais, and other 
parts of Egypt. This country was heretofore, of all others, the most super- 
stitious : but the benediction of God, promised to it by the prophets, was 
plentifully showered down upon it during the ministry of this apostle. He 
employed twelve years in preaching in these parts, before he, by a partic- 
ular call of God, entered Alexandria, where he soon assembled a very nu- 
merous church,'" of which it is thought, says Fleury, that the Jewish con- 
verts then made up the greatest part. And it is the opinion of St. Jerom 

"! Mark xii. 

9 Horn. 58 and 85. in Mat. 

8 L. 1. de consens evang. c. 2. 
10 B. 2, c. ]6. 

deed the style itself shows it, and the learned are now commonly agreed in this point. An old manuscript 
of thii gospel is kept in St. Mark's treasury in Venice, and is there said to be the original copy, written by 
the evangelist himself. It is written, not on Egyptian papyrus, as Mabillon and Montfaucon too lightly 
imagined,' but on a paper made of cotton, as Scipio Maffei, a complete judge, who narrowly examined it, 
assures us. (Sec his Istoria Diploniatica, printed at Mantua, in 4to., in 1727.) , Misson thought it written in 
Greek, and that lie read the word Kara. But Montfaucon shows that he mistook Bata in Ibat autem for 
Kara ; and that the MS. is in Latin, as Ciaconi had well informed us. It was conveyed from Aquileia to 
Venice in the fifteenth century. The emperor Charles IV., in 1355, obtained, from Aquileia, the last eiglit 
leaves, which are kept at Prague. The twenty leaves at Venice, with the last eight leaves at Prague, 
make the whole gospel nf St. Mark, which belongs to the other three gospels in the Forojulian MS. This 
MS. was written in the si.vth century, and contains the oldest copy of St. Jerom's version of the gospels. 
See Montfaucon, Diar. Italic. Calmet, Diss, sur I'Evang. de St. Marc, and principally Laiu. a Turre's ex 
cellent letter to Bianchini, in this latter's Evangel, (iuadrup. t. 4, p. 543. 

April 25.] 


and Eusebius, that these were the Therapeutes described by Philo," and 
the first founders of the ascetic life in Egypt.* 

The prodigious progress of the faith in Alexandria stirred up the heathens 
against this Galilsean. The apostle therefore left the city, having ordained 
St. Anianus bishop, in the eighth year of Nero, of Christ the sixty-second, 
and returned to Pentapolis, where he preached two years, and then visited 
his church of Alexandria, which he found increased in faith and grace, as 
well as in numbers. He encouraged the faithful and again withdrew ; the 
Oriental Chronicle says to Rome. On his return to Alexandria, the heathens 
called him a magician, on account of his miracles, and resolved upon his 
death. God, however, concealed him long from them. At last, on the pa- 
gan feast of the idol Serapis, some that were employed to discover the holy 
man, found him offering to God the prayer of the oblation, or the mass. Over- 
joyed to find him in their power, they seized him, tied his feet with cords, 
and dragged him about the streets, crying out, that the ox must be led to Bu- 
coles, a place near the sea, full of rocks and precipices, where probably oxen 
were fed. This happened on Sunday, the 24th of April, in the year of Christ 
68, of Nero the fourteenth, about three years after the death of SS. Peter 
and Paul. The saint was thus dragged the whole day, staining the stones 
with his blood, and leaving the ground strewed with pieces of his flesh ; all 
the while he ceased not to praise and thank God for his sufferings. At night 
he was thrown into prison, in which God comforted him by two visions, 
which Bede has also mentioned in his true martyrology. The next day the 
infidels dragged him, as before, till he happily expired on the 25th of April, 
on which day the Oriental and Western churches keep his festival. The 
Christians gathered up the remains of his mangled body, and buried them at 
Bucoles, where they afterwards usually assembled for prayer. His body 
was honorably kept there, in a church built on the spot, in 310 ; and towards 
the end of the fourth age, the holy priest Philoromus made a pilgrimage 
thither from Galatia to visit this saint's tomb, as Palladius recounts. His 
body was still honored at Alexandria, under the Mahometans, in the eighth 
age, in a marble tomb.''"' It is said to have been conveyed by stealth to Ve- 
nice, in 815. Bernard, a French monk, who travelled over the East in 870, 
writes, that the body of St. Mark was not then at Alexandria, because the 
Venetians had carried it to their isles. '^ It is said to be deposited in the 
Doge's stately rich chapel of St. Mark, in a secret place, that it may not be 
stolen, under one of the great pillars. This saint is honored by that republic 
with extraordinary devotion as principal patron. 

The great litany is sung on this day to beg that God would be pleased to 
avert from us the scourges which our sins deserve. The origin of this cus- 
tom is usually ascribed to St. Gregory the Great, who, by public supplication, 
or litany, with a procession of the whole city of Rome, divided into seven 
bands, or companies, obtained of God the extinction of a dreadful pestilence.! 

11 De vita contempl. 12 See Bolland. p. 352. U See MabiUon, Act. Bened. p. 502. 

* This opinion, Helyot, Montfaucon, and many others, have defended in ample dissertations ; though 
others think these Therapeutes were originally a rigid sect of the Essenes among the .Jews. Philo says, 
tliey were spread over all Egypt, that they lived retired from the world, disposed of their fortunes among 
their relations, read holy hooks, were much given to pious meditation, neither ate nor drink before sunset, 
and practised other austerities; and that some of their women observed perpetual virginity out of motives 
of religion. But whether they were the disciples of St. Mark or not, it is however certain, that from his 
time there were several Christians, whom a desire of living after a more perfect manner than ordinary, 
induced to withdraw into the country about Alexandria, and to live retired, praying and meditating on the 
holy scriptures, working with their hands, and taking no sustenance before sunset, &c. 

t The Greek word litany, which signifies supplication, is mentioned by St. Basil, (ep. 6.3, p. 97, t. 3,) as 
used in his time for a public supplication to implore the divine mercy. ' The Greeks repealed the form 
Kyrie eleison: the Latins retained the very words. St. Gregory the Great added Christe eleison to an- 
swer the former. The invocation of the saints ivas added soon after St. Gregory's time, as .ajipears from 
some martyrologies of that age, which falsely bear the name of St. Jerom. See Florentin, Admonit. 8, 
prsv. pp. 39, 40. Thomassin, Hist, des Fetes Mob. part 2, p. 173, &c. 

158 s. MACULL, c. [April 25. 

This St. Gregory of Tours learned from a deacon, who had assisted at this 
ceremony at Rome.''' The station was at St. Mary Major's, and this pro- 
cession and litany were made in the year 590. St. Gregory the Great 
speaks of a like procession and litany which he made thirteen years after, 
on the 29th of August, in the year 603, in which the station was at St. Sa- 
bina's." Whence it is inferred that St. Gregory performed this ceremony 
every year, though not on the 25th of April, on which day we find it settled, 
in the close of the seventh century, long before the same was appointed for 
the feast of St. Mark.'^ The great litany was received in France, and com- 
manded in the council of Aix-la-Chapelle in 836, and in the Capitulars of 
Charles the Bald.'^ St. Gregory the Great observed the great litany with a 
strict fast. On account of the Paschal time, on the 25th of April, it is kept 
in several dioceses only with abstinence ; in some M'ith a fast of the Stations, 
or till None.'^ 

Nothing is more tender and more moving than the instructions which 
several councils, fathers, and holy pastors, have given on the manner of per- 
forming public supplications and processions. The first council of Orleans 
orders masters to excuse their servants from work and attendance, that all 
the faithful may be assembled together to unite their prayers and sighs. A 
council at Mentz'^ commanded that all should assist barefoot, and covered 
with sackcloth : which was for some time observed in that church. St. 
Charles Borromseo endeavored, by pathetic instructions and pastoral letters, 
to revive the ancient piety of the faithful, on the great litany and rogation 
days. According to the regulations which he made, the supplications and 
processions began before break of day, and continued till three or four o'clock 
in the afternoon. On them he fasted himself on bread and water, and 
preached several times, exhorting the people to sincere penance. A neglect 
to assist at the public supplications of the church, is a grievous disorder, and 
perhaps one of the principal causes of the little piety and sanctity which are 
left, and of the scandals which reign among Christians. They cannot seek 
the kingdom of God as they ought, who deprive themselves of so powerful a 
means of drawing down his graces upon their souls. We must join this 
procession with hearts penetrated with humility, and spend some time in 
prayer, pious reading, and the exercises of compunction. What we are chiefly 
to ask of God on these days is the remission of our sins, which are the only 
true evil, and the cause of all the chastisements which we suffer, or have 
reason to fear. We must secondly beg that God avert from us all scourges 
and calamities which our crimes deserve, and that he bestow his blessing 
on the fruits of the earth. 



He was an Irish prince, and captain of robbers, or freebooters, whom St. 
Patrick converted to the faith. By baptism he was so changed into a new 
man, as to appear at once to have put on perfectly the spirit of Christ. To 
cut off all dangerous occasions and commerce, he renmmced the world, and 
retired into the Isle of Man, about thirty English miles long, and nine broad, 
situated towards the coast of Lancashire, in England. In tlie acts of this 

14 St. Greg. Turon. 1. 1ft, Hist. Franc, c. 1. See also John the Deacon, VUa S. Greg. 1. 1, n. 42. 

15 St. Greg. M. 1. 11, ep. 2, Indict. 6. '6 Beleth. c. 122. Fronto in Calend. p. 71, &c. 
n Capituiar. 1. 5, c. 1.58, and 1. 6, c. 74. 

18 See Thomassin du Jeune, part 2, c. 21. Henschen. Apr. t. 3, p. 345. 19 Can. 33. 

April 25.] 



saint, and in Gildas, it is called Eubonia, by Ptolemy Monoeda, from the 
British Moneitha, i. e. the further or more northern Mona, to distinguish it 
from the Isle of Anglesey, on the coast of Wales, called by the ancients 
Mona. St. Patrick had before sent to this island St. Germanus, whom he 
had ordained bishop, that he might plant a church there. He is honored as 
the apostle of this island, and in his name is the cathedral church in Pell- 
castle dedicated. Upon the death of St. Germanus, St. Patrick sent thither 
two other preachers, named Conindrius and Romulus. In their time, St. 
Macull arrived there in an open boat, and, after their death, he is said to 
have been chosen bishop in 498, by the unanimous consent of the Manks na- 
tion. He had till then led an austere penitential life, in the mountainous tract, 
which, from him, is called St. Maughold, and where a city was afterwards 
built, which bears the same name, though now scarce a village, Ramsey be- 
ing the only town within this tract or parish. The saint, by his labors and 
example, exceedingly enlarged the kingdom of Christ in this island. In 
what year he died is uncertain. He is honored in the British and Irish 

A famous monastery formerly flourished in this island, at Russin, now, 
from its wonderful castle, called Castletown, the present capital of the isl- 
and, and residence of the governor. In Peeling, the ancient capital, be- 
sides the cathedral, there is a parish church, of which St. Patrick is titular, 
and the old palace of the bishop. Out of the eighteen parishes of the island, 
St. Maughold gives name to that of the part about Ramsey. In the church- 
yard is St. Maughold's well of very clear water, received in a large stone 
coffin. The saint's chair, as it is called, is placed above, in which a person 
was formerly seated to drink a glass of the water for the cure of several dis- 
orders, especially from poison. His shrine was formerly shown there, but 
was dispersed since the change of religion. See his life in Colgan's MS. 
Lives of Irish Saints, on the 25th of April. Also the Description of the Isle 
of Man, given by Sacheverell, the governor, pp. 11 and 110. 



The acts of St. Mark tell us, that he was a shoemaker in that city, 
whose hand, wounded with an awl, St. Mark healed when he first entered 
the city. Such was his fervor and progress in virtue and learning, that St. 
Mark constituted him bishop of Alexandria, during his absence ; and Ania- 
nus governed that great church four years with him, and eighteen years and 
seven months after his death, according to the Oriental Chronicle. He died 
in the year 86, on the 26th of November ; but is named in the Roman Mar- 
tyrology on the same day with St. Mark. " He was a man," says Euse- 
bius," " well-pleasing to God, and admirable in all things." St. Epiphanius 
mentions a church in Alexandria built in his honor.^ 



When the second Arian confession of faith was drawn up at Sirmium, 
and subscribed to by Osius, in 358, St. Phasbadius wrote against it with 

1 Hist. 1. 2, c. 24. 

2 Hcer. 69, c. 2. 

160 s. KEBius. [April 25. 

great success, and by his zeal put a check to that spreading evil, so that in 
Aquitaine it was universally rejected. His book against the Arians, vs'hich 
is extant,' is vsrritten in so masterly a manner, vi^ith such solidity, justness, 
and close reasoning, as to make us regret the loss of his other vi^orks. In it 
he confutes this heretical confession of faith, and even in the more innocent 
parts discovers the secret wiles and subtle equivocations of its authors. In 
the council of Rimini, in 359, he zealously opposed the Arians, together 
with St. Servatius of Tongres. These two prelates were at length imposed 
upon by the artful practices of Ursacius and Valens, to admit a captious 
proposition, without perceiving the poison which it contained. But, discov- 
ering afterwards the snare, they declared they had been deceived, and con- 
demned what they had done at Rimini.^ St. Phsebadius, to repair this evil, 
redoubled his zeal in the council of Paris, in 360, and in the council of Sa- 
ragossa, in Spain, in 380, and joined St. Delphinus, archbishop of Bor- 
deaux, his metropolitan, in all his labors for the faith. We have a learned, 
elegant, and solid treatise, in which the council of Rimini is confuted, and 
Ursacius and Valens attacked, of which Dom. Rivet proves^ St. Phsebadius 
to have been the author. A Greek translation of this piece is pubhshed 
among the discourses of St. Gregory Nazianzen, it being the forty-ninth. 
St. Pha^badius was alive in a very decrepit old age, in 392, when St. Je- 
rom VvTote his catalogue of illustrious men. The church of Agen places 
his festival on the 25th of April. See Tillemont, t. 6, p. 427, and Rivet, 
Hist. Liter, p. 266, and p. 30, t. 1, part 2. 


Was a Persian bishop, who preached the faith in England about the 
same time with St. Austin, in the seventh century ; and having for some 
time prepared himself for his last passage, by solitude, watching, prayer, and 
fasting, at Slepe, now St. Ive's, in Huntingdonshire, he there died and was 
buried. His body was found by a ploughman, in a pontifical habit and en- 
tire, in 1001, on the 24th of April. By the fame of miracles performed at 
his relics, many resorted to the place, and a Benedictin priory was there 
built, though the saint's body was soon after translated to the great abbey of 
Ramsey. J Whitman, the third abbot at Ramsey, wrote a book of the mira- 
cles wrought at his tomb, which was afterwards augmented by Goscelin, a 
monk of Canterbury, about the year 1096. Pope Alexander V. granted a 
license to build a church to his honor in Cornwall, where his name was 
famous, and is given to a parliamentary borough. See Dr. Brown Willis, 
in his History of Parliamentary Boroughs, t. 1, p. 543 ; Camden, Harps- 
field, (scec. 9,) and WiUiam of Malmesbury, 1. 4, de Pontific, ; BoUand. 10 
Jun. Hist. Litter, de la Fr. t. 8, p. 667. 


Was ordained bishop by St. Hilary of Poitiers, and, returning into his 
own country, preached penance in Cornwall, in the fourth century. See 
Borlase, Ant. of Cornwall, Leland, &c. 

1 Bibl. Patrum, t. 4. p. 400. „ ^ . „ ,,_ 

2 St. Hilar. Fragm. 11 ; St. Hieron. 1. 4, in Lucifer, n. 6 ; Theodoret, 1. 2, Hist. c. 17 ; St. Sulpic. Sev. Hist. 
1.2, n. 16. 

3 Hist. Litlur. de la Fr. t. 1, part 2, p. 273. 

* He is called Ivia by Dr. Brown Willis, and in the best manuscript records : but most historians, by- 
giving his name a Latin termination, pronounce it Ivo. 

April 26.] 



APRIL xxvr. 


St. Cletus was the third bishop of Rome, and succeeded St. Linus, 
which circumstance alone shows his eminent virtue among the first disci- 
ples of St. Peter in the West. He sat twelve years, from 76 to 89. The 
canon of the Roman mass-, (which Bossuet' and all others agree to be of 
primitive antiquity,) Bede, and other Martyrologists, style him a martyr. He 
was buried near St. Linus, on the Vatican, and his relics still remain in that 


He s-ucceeded St. Caius in the bishopric of Rome, in 296, about the 
time that Dioclesian set himself up for a deity, and impiously claimed di- 
vine honors. Theodoret says,' that in those stormy times of persecution, 
Marcellinus acquired great glory. He sat in St. Peter's chair eight years, 
three months, and twenty-five days, dying in 304, a year after the cruel per- 
secution broke out, in which he gained much honor. He has been styled 
a martyr, though his blood was not shed in the cause of religion, as appears 
from the Liberian calendar, which places him among those popes that were 
not put to death for the faith. f 

It is a fundamental maxim of the Christian morality, and a truth which 
Christ has established in the clearest terras, and in innumerable passages of 
the gospel,^ that the cross, or sufferings and mortification, are the road to 
eternal bliss. They, therefore, who lead not here a crucified and mortified 
life, are unworthy ever to possess the unspeakable joys of his kingdom. 
Our Lord himself, our model and our head, walked in this path, and his 
great apostle puts us in mind^ that he entered into bliss only by his blood 
j and by the cross. Nevertheless, this is a truth which the world can never 
understand, how clearly soever it be preached by Christ, and recommended 

1 Expos, de la Messe. 

2 Malt. V. 5, 10 ; xvi. 24 ; s. 38 ; xi. 12. Luke vi. 23 ; ix. 23, &c. 

' Theodoi-et, b. 2. c. 2. 
Hebr. ix. 12. 

* Certain French critics think Cletus and Anaclctus to have been one and the same person ; but Orsi (t. 
1, 1. 2, n. 29 ; p. 282) shows thejn to have been distinct popes. Eusebius, indeed, confounds them, as he 
did Novatus and Novatian, and the popes Marcellus and Marcellinus ; mistakes to which, from the like- 
ness of names, the Greeks were the most liable, as they wrote at so great a distance. But the Latins, 
who had authentic records by them, could not be mistaken ; especially the author of the first part of the 
Liberian Calendar, which appears, in mo<t particulars, to be copied from the public registers of the Roman 
cliurcli : wliich authorities make it appear that Cletus sal tbe third, and Anacletus the fifth bishop of 
Rome. The church sometimes honors the same saint on several days ; but the most authentic monuments 
distinguish these saints. On St. Cletus, and that he is not the same person with St. Anacletus, called by 
some Anenclelus, see A. Sandini, in Dissert. 4, ad Hist. Pontif. Berti, Chron. Hist. Eccl. prirni. sa-c. t. 1, 
Orsi, &c. t^oiue modern pontificals tell us that he divided the city of Rome into twenty-five parishes, and 
first built St. Peter's church. The faithful celebrated the divine mysteries in the catacombs, or vault, 
where the remains of the apostles were deposited, and over their tomb St. Cletus might add some embel- 
lishments, or enlarge this sacred place. See Bianchini, Notes on Anastasius's Pontifical, t. 2, p. 61. 

t Petilian, the Donatist bishop, objected to the Catholics, that Marcellinns had sacrificed to idols, and 
had delivered up the holy scriptures to the persecutors ; also that his priests, Melchiades, Marcellus, and 
Sylvester, were guilty of the same apostacy. But St. Austin entirely denied the charge, (1. de unico bapt. 
contra Petilian. c. 16, t. 9, p. 541,) which was a mere calumny of the Donatists. Yet upon this slander 
some others built another fictitious history of his repentance in a pretended council of Sinuessa. The 
author discovers himself to have been a barbarous half-Latin Goth, says Coutant. (Append, ad 
cretales, p. 27.) His forgery contradicts the histories, customs, and language of that age. See Pagi, ad an. 
303 ; Natalis Alexander, Tillemont, t. 5 ; Orsi, t. 3, &c. 





[April 26. 

by his powerful example, and that of his martyrs and of all the saints. 
Christians still pretend, by the joys and pleasures of this world, to attain to 
the bliss of heaven, and shudder at the very mention of mortification, pen- 
ance, or sufferings. So prevalent is this fatal error, which self-love and 
the example and false maxims of the world strongly fortify in the minds of 
many, that those who have given themselves to God with the greatest fer- 
vor, are bound always to stand upon their guard against it, and daily to re- 
new their fervor in the love and practice of penance, and to arm themselves 
with patience against sufferings, lest the weight of the corruption of our 
nature, the pleasures of sense, and flattering blandishments of the world, 
draw them aside, and make them leave the path of mortification, or lose 
courage under its labors, and under the afflictions with which God is pleas- 
ed to purify them, and afford them means of sanctifying themselves. 


He was born in the village of Centula, in Ponthieu. His pious parents 
had no worldly riches to leave him ; but he was sensible how great an in- 
heritance that of grace and virtue is. His youth was spent in the laborious 
occupations of a country life, which he sanctified by the motives of religion, 
and the practice of moral virtues : but God, by the following occasion, 
taught him its most perfect lessons. Two pious Irish priests, named Cadoc 
and Frichor, passing through that country, and being ill-treated by the peo- 
ple, Riquier entertained them and did them all the good offices in his power. 
They in requital taught him the maxims of perfect virtue ; and God, in rec- 
ompense of his charity, spoke, at the same time, inwardly to his heart in 
sentiments with which he had been unacquainted while he did not so se- 
riously consider the great truths of religion. From that time he began to 
fast on barley-bread strewed with ashes, drinking only water, which he 
often mingled with his tears, which he shed abundantly. He joined watch- 
ings to manual labor, and passed both the nights and days in prayer and 
holy meditation. Having prepared himself for holy orders, he was promo- 
ted to the priesthood. From that moment he considered himself as bound 
to live no longer to himself; and began to preach and to instruct the faith- 
ful with extraordinary zeal. He came over into England to perfect himself 
in the science of the saints ; but returned to preach the word of God in his 
own country. God everywhere crowned his zeal with wonderful success. 
King Dagobert I. desired to hear him preach; and the saint spoke so pa- 
thetically on the vanities of the world, that the king was exceedingly moved, 
and bestowed on him many presents. The saint employed them in the re- 
lief of the poor, and in founding the monastery of Centula, in the diocese 
of x\miens, which he began in 638. He some time after built a second, 
called to this day Forest-Montier, three leagues and a half from Abbeville. 
He lived an anchoret in the forest of Cressy, with one only companion, in 
perpetual contemplation and prayer ; and in so great austerity, that he 
seemed almost to forget that he had a body. He died about the year 645. 
His relics are the chief treasure of his great monastery of Centula, now 
called St. Riquier. His name is famous in the French and Roman Calen- 
dars. See his life by Alcuin : likewise other memoirs in Mabillon and 

April 26.] 





Radbert, pronounced Rabert, was born in the territory of Soissons. The 
death of his mother having left him an orphan in his infancy, the nuns of 
our Lady's at Soissons took care of his education, which they committed to 
the monks of St. Peter's, in the same town. Having made some progress 
in his studies and in piety, he received the clerical tonsure ; but soon after 
returned into the world, and led some years a secular life, till, powerfully 
touched by divine grace, he retired to the monastery of Corbie, and made 
his monastic profession under St. Adalhard, the founder and first abbot of 
that house. This state he looked upon as the school of perfect virtue, and 
all its exercises as the means by which he was to attain to it : he therefore 
dreaded the least sloth or remissness in any of the regular observances of 
his vocation. By the fervor and exactitude with which he acquitted him- 
self of them, he made his whole life in every action and every moment a 
continued holocaust to the divine glory and love. Having in his youth made 
a considerable progress in his studies, particularly by reading Terence and 
Cicero, in the monastery he applied himself, with wonderful success, to sa- 
cred studies. St. Adalhard and Wala, his brother and successor in the ab- 
bacy, made him their companion in their journeys, and their counsellor in 
all affairs of importance. In 822 they took him with them into Saxony, 
when they finished the establishment of Corwei, or New Corbie, there. 
The emperor, Louis Debonnaire, employed him in several public affairs ; 
and he discharged all these commissions with honor. In his own monas- 
tery he preached to the monks on Sundays and holidays, and gave every 
day public lectures on the sacred sciences. Under his direction the schools 
of Corbie became very famous. Among his scholars were Adalhard the 
Younger, (who governed the abbey in quality of vicar during the absence of 
St. Adalhard the Elder,) St. Anscharius, Hildeman, and Odo, successively 
bishops of Beauvais, and Warin, abbot of New Corbie, in Saxony. These 
occupations and studies never seemed to him a sufficient reason to exempt 
him from assisting at the public office in the choir, and all other general 
observances of the rule. In subscribing the council of Paris, in 846, he 
took only his own name, Radbert ; but in the works which he composed after 
that time, he always prefixed to it that of Paschasius. This he took ac- 
cording to the custom which then prevailed among men of letters in France, 
for every one to adopt some Roman or scriptural name. Thus in his epitaph 
or panegyric on his abbot, Wala, he styles him Arsenius. 

St. Adalhard died in 826, and Wala, the second abbot, in 836. Isaac 
succeeded him, and upon his demise, in 844, Radbert was chosen the fourth 
abbot. The distractions of this station made him earnestly endeavor to re- 
sign his dignity : which however he could not effect till seven years after, 
in 851. Being restored to his liberty, he retired to the abbey of St. Riquier 
to finish some of his works ; but after some time he returned to Corbie. In 
all his writings he takes those of the fathers, in which he was extremely 
well versed, for his guide.' His long commentary on St. Matthew's gospel, 
a learned and useful work, he began before he was chosen abbot, as appears 
from his dedication of the four first books to Gontland, a monk of St. 
Riquier's ; but in the latter he speaks of himself as very old, so that Mabil- 
lon thinks he only finished his twelfth or last book about the year 858. 
The errors of Felix of Urgel and Claudius of Turin, those of Gothescalc,^ 

1 Radb. Comni. in Matt. 1. 1, prsef. 

2 lb. 1. 8, p. 746. 


whom he had condemned. with the prelates assembled at Quiercy, in 849, 
and especially those of John Scotus Erigena, against the mystery of the real 
presence of the body of Christ in the Eucharist,^ are solidly confuted in this 
commentary. Radbert dedicated to Emma, abbess of our Lady's at Sois- 
sons, about the year 856, his prolix commentary on the forty-fourth Psalm.^ 
To stir himself up to compunction, he wrote an exposition of the Lamenta- 
tions of Jeremy, which he applies both to the two destructions of Jerusalem, 
by Nabuchodonosor and Titus, and to the fall of a soul into sin. The men- 
tion he here makes of the sacking of Paris, shows that he wrote this book 
after the plunder of that city by the Normans, in 857. The most famous 
work of Radbert was his book, On the Sacrament of the Altar, or On the 
Body and Blood of Christ, which he dedicated to Warin, abbot of New Cor- 
bie ; to which dignity he was only raised in 826. He mentions in it the 
banishment of Arsenius, that is, of the abbot Wala, which happened in 831, 
not of St. Adalhard, as some mistake, who thence imagine that he first pub- 
lished this book in 818. Fifteen or twenty years after this first edition, the 
author, when he was abbot, consequently after the year 844, gave a second 
more ample than the former, and dedicated it to king Charles the Bald, who 
had desired to see it. During this interval no one had raised any clamors 
about it. But some afterwards took offence at certain expressions, chiefly 
taken from St. Ambrose, in which the author affirmed the body of Christ 
present in the eucharist to be the same flesh which was born of the Virgin 
Mary, and nailed to the cross, in terms so strong, that these writers imagined 
that he taught it to be in the eucharist in the same mortal state in which he 
suffered, and that he understood this sacred mystery in the carnal sense of 
the Capharnaits.* Radbert defends the manner in which he had expressed 
himself, in a letter to Frudegard, a monk of New Corbie. He wrote the 
life of St. Adalhard soon after his death : also that of the abbot Wala, under 
the title of his epitaph,* and the acts of the martyrs Rufinus and Valerius, 
who suff'ered in the territory of Soissons. The foregoing works of St. Rad- 
bert were published in one volume by F. Sirmond, in 1618, and in the Li- 
brary of the Fathers. His treatise to defend the perpetual virginity of Mary, 
in bringing forth the Son of God, was printed by the care of D'Achery.^ 
His book On Faith, Hope, and Charity, was first published by Dom. Ber- 
nard Fez,' and soon after much more correctly by Dom. Martenne,^ who in 
the same place has favored us with a much more correct and complete edi- 
tion of Radbert's book, On the Body and Blood of the Lord, than that of F. 
Sirmond, with a collection of various readings compiled by Dom. Sabbatier. 
St. Paschasius Radbert has given us several remarkable instances of his 
modesty and humility, styling himself frequently in his writings, The Out- 
cast of the Monastic Order. f He died at Corbie on the 26th of April, about 
the year 865. He was buried in .St. John's chapel, but his body was trans- 
lated into the great church, in 1073, by authority of the holy see, under the 
pontificate of Gregory VII., the ceremony being performed by Wido, bishop 
of Amiens ;® from which time he is honored at Corbie, and in the Galilean 
and Benedictin Martyrologies, among the saints. In his last sickness, he 

3 lb. 1. 11, c. 26, p. 1093. * Ps. xliv. Eiuctavit cor nieum. 

6 Published by Mabillon, Act. Ben. t. 6, p. 139. 

* De Partu Virginis, apud D'Achery, t. 12, Spicilegii, p. 1. 

' Auecdot. t. ]. 8 Amp!. Collect, t. ult. seii 9. 

° Hugo Menard, ex Veteribus Monvimentis Corbeiens, and Bened. XIV. De Canoniz. 1. 1, c. 8, n. 11, p. 65. 

* On the works of Ratramnus, a monk of Corbie, on this subject, see Ceillier, t. ]9, p. 137, and on that 
which F. Cellot jmblished anonymous, and is proved by Dom. Bern. Pez, (t. 1, Anecd.) Ceiller, &c., to be 
the production of Gerbert, arclibishop of Rlieinis, afterwards pope Sylvester It., see CeilUer, ib. p. 727; 
also on Ratramnus, see Hist. litter, de la Fiance, t. 5, pp. 334, 335, and on that work of Gerbert ib. t. 6, 
p. 587. 

t Monachorum Peripsema. 

April 27.] s. anthimus, b., etc., mm. 165 

laid so strict an injunction on all his disciples and brethren, forbidding any 
one to write his life, that his humility has robbed us of the edification which 
such a history would have afforded us. See his short life compiled by F. 
Sirmond, and prefixed to his edition of this holy man's works : also another 
collected from the archives of Corbie,, by Hugh Menard, in his notes on the 
Benedictin Martyrology : also Ceillier, t. 19, p. 87, and Legipont ; Hist. 
Liter. Bened. t. 3, p. 77, 

APRIL xxvn. 



From Lactantius, I. De Mortibus Persecut. ed. nov. t. 2, p. 197 ; Eusebius, Hist. b. 8, c. 4, 6 ; see Tilie- 

niont, t. 5. 

A. D. 303. 

These martyrs were the first victims ofl^ered to God in the most bloody 
persecution raised by Dioclesian. That prince was a native of Dalmatia, 
of the basest extraction, and a soldier of fortune. After the death of the 
emperor Numerian, son of Cams, slain by a conspiracy in 284, he was pro- 
claimed emperor by the army at Chalcedon. The year following he defeat- 
ed Carinus, the other son of Carus, who reigned in the West : but finding 
the empire too unwieldy a body to govern alone, and secure himself at the 
same time against the continual treasons of the soldiery, especially the Pre- 
torian guards, who during the last three hundred years had murdered their 
emperors almost at pleasure ; having moreover no issue male, and reposing 
an entire confidence in Maximian Herculeus, Dioclesian chose him for his 
partner in the empire, and honored him with the title of Augustus. He was 
a barbarian, born of obscure parents, at a village near Sirmium in Pannonia, 
of a cruel and savage temper, and addicted to all manner of wickedness ; but 
was reckoned one of the best commanders of his time. The two emperors, 
alarmed at the dangers which threatened the empire on every side, and not 
thinking themselves alone able to oppose so many enemies at once, in 292 
named each of them a Ccesar, or emperor of an inferior rank, who should 
succeed them respectively in the empire, and jointly with them defend the 
Roman dominions against foreign invaders and domestic usurpers. Diocle- 
sian chose Maximian Galerius ibr the East, who, before he entered the Ro- 
man arniy, was a peasant of Dacia ; a man of a brutal ferocity, whose very 
aspect, gesture, voice, and discourse were all terrifying ; and who, besides 
■ his cruel disposition, was extremely bigoted to idolatry. Maximian Hercu- 
leus chose Constantius, surnamed Chlorus, for the West, an excellent prince, 
and nobly born. 

The first years of the reign of Dioclesian were tolerably favorable to the 
Christians, though several even then sufl^ered martyrdom by virtue of former 
edicts. But Galerius began to persecute them in the provinces within his 
jurisdiction, by his own authority; and never ceased to stir up Dioclesian 
to do the like, especially in 302, when he passed the winter with him at 
Nicomedia. Dioclesian, however, appeared unwilling to come into all his 



[April 2"^ 

violent measures, foreseeing that so much blood could not be spilled without 
disturbing the peace of the empire to a high degree. The oracle of Apollo 
at Miletus was therefore consulted, and gave such an answer as might have 
been expected from an enemy to the Christian religion.' The same author 
in two places^ relates another accident which contributed to provoke the 
emperor against the faith. While Dioclesian was offering victims at Anti- 
och, in 302, in order to consult the entrails for the discovery of future events, 
certain Christian officers, who stood near his person, " made on their fore- 
heads the immortal sign of the cross." This disturbed the sacrifices and 
confounded the aruspices, or diviners, who could not find the ordinary 
marks they looked for in the entrails of the victims, though they offered up 
many, one after another, pretending that the divinity was not yet appeased. 
But all their sacrifices were to no purpose, for no signs appeared. Upon 
which the person set over the diviners declared, that their rites did not suc- 
ceed, because some profane persons, meaning the Christians, had thrust 
themselves into their assembly. Hereupon Dioclesian, in a rage, com- 
manded that not only those who were present, but all the rest of his cour- 
tiers should come and sacrifice to their gods ; and ordered those to be 
scourged who should refuse to do it. He also sent orders to his military 
officers to require all the soldiers to sacrifice, or, in case of refusal, to be 
disbanded. Another thing determined Dioclesian to follow these impres- 
sions, which one would have imagined should have had a quite contrary 
effect ; it is mentioned by Constantine the Great, who thus speaks in an 
edict directed to the whole empire, preserved by Eusebius.' " A report was 
spread that Apollo out of his dark cavern had declared, that certain just men 
on earth hindered him from delivering true oracles, and were the cause that 
he had uttered falsehood. For this reason he let his hair grow, as a token 
of his sorrow, and lamented this evil among men, having hereby lost his art 
of divination. Thee I attest, most high God. Thou knowest how I, being 
then very young, heard the emperor Dioclesian inquiring of his officers who 
these just men were ; w<hen one of his priests made answer, that they were 
the Christians ; which answer moved Dioclesian to draw his bloody sword, 
not to punish the guilty, but to exterminate the righteous, whose innocence 
stood confessed by the divinities he adored." 

For beginning this work, choice was made of the festival of the god Ter- 
minos, six days before the end of February, that month closing the Roman 
year before the correction of Julius Ca;sar, and when that feast was institu- 
ted. By this they implied that an end was to be put to our religion. Early 
in the morning the prefect, accompanied with some officers and others, went 
to the church ; and having forced open the door, all the books of the scrip- 
tures that were there found were burned, and the spoil that was made on 
that occasion was divided among all that were present. The two princes, 
who from a balcony viewed all that was done, (the church which stood upon 
an eminence being within the prospect of the palace,) were long in debate 
whether they should order fire to be set to it. But in this Dioclesian's 
opinion prevailed, who was afraid that if the church was set on fire, the 
flames might spread themselves into the other parts of the city; so that a 
considerable body of the guards were sent thither with mattocks and pick- 
axes, who in a few hours levelled that lofty building with the ground. The 
next day an edict was published, by which it was commanded that all the 
churches should be demolished, the scriptures burnt, and the Christians de- 
clared incapable of all honors and employments, and that they should be 
liable to torture, whatever should be their rank and dignity. All actions 

1 Lactantius de Mort. Persec. c. 11, p. 137- 
3 Vit. Const. 1. 2, c. 50, 51, p, 467. 

« II). c. 10, and Inst, I. 4, c. 27 

April 27.] s. anthimus, b., etc., mm. 167 

were to be received against them, while they were put out of the protection 
of the law, and might not sue either upon injuries done them, or debts owing 
to them ; deprived moreover of their liberties and their right of voting. This 
edict was not published in other places till a month later. But it had not 
been long set up, before a certain Christian of quality and eminence in that 
city, whom some have conjectured to be St. George, had the boldness pub- 
licly to pull down this edict, out of a zeal which Lactantius justly censures 
as indiscreet, but which Eusebius, considering his intention, stvles divine. 
He was immediately apprehended, and after having endured the most cruel 
tortures, was broiled to death on a gridiron, upon a very slow fire. All 
which he suffered with admirable patience. The first edict was quickly fol- 
lowed by another, enjoining that the bishops should be seized in all places, 
loaded with chains, and compelled by torments to sacrifice to the idols. St. 
Anthimus was, in all appearance, taken up on this occasion ; and Nicome- 
dia, then the residence of the emperor, was filled with slaughter and deso- 

But Galerius was not satisfied with the severity of this edict. Wherefore, 
in order to stir up Dioclesian to still greater rigors, he procured some of his 
own creatures to set fire to the imperial palace, some parts of which were 
burnt down ; and the Christians, according to the usual perverseness of the 
heathens, being accused of it, as Galerius desired and expected, this raised 
a most implacable rage against them. For it was given out, that they had 
entered into consultation with some of the eunuchs, for the destruction of 
their princes, and that the two emperors were well-nigh burnt alive in their 
own palace. Dioclesian, not in the least suspecting the imposture, gave or- 
ders that all his domestics and dependents should be cruelly tort"ured in his 
presence, to oblige them to confess the supposed guilt, but all to no pur- 
pose ; for the criminals lay concealed among the domestics of Galerius, none 
of whose family were put to the torture. A fortnight after the first burning, 
the palace was set on fire a second time, without any discovery of the au- 
thor ; and Galerius, though in the midst of winter, left Nicomedia the same 
day, protesting that he went away through fear of being burnt alive by the 
Christians. The fire was stopped before it had done any great mischief, but 
it had the effect intended by the author of it. For Dioclesian, ascribing it to 
the Christians, resolved to keep no measures with them ; and his rage and 
resentment being now at the highest pitch, he vented them with the utmost 
cruelty upon the innocent Christians, beginning with his daughter Valeria, 
married to Galerius, and his own wife, the empress Prisca, Avhom, being 
both Christians, he compelled to sacrifice to idols. The reward of their 
apostacy was, that after an uninterrupted series of grievous afflictions, they 
were both publicly beheaded, by the order of Licinius, in 313, when he ex- 
tirpated the families of Dioclesian and Maximian. Some of the eunuchs 
that were in the highest credit, and by whose directions the affairs of the 
palace had been conducted before this edict, having long presided in his 
courts and councils, were the first victims of his rage : and they bravely 
suffered the most cruel torments and death for the faith. Among these 
were SS. Peter, Gorgonius, Dorotheus, Indus, Migdonius, Mardonius, and 
others. The persecution, which began in the palace, fell next on the clergy 
of Nicomedia. St. Anthimus, the good bishop of that city, was cut ofi' the 
first, being beheaded for the faith. He was followed by all the priests and 
inferior ministers of his church, with all those persons that belonged to their 
families. From the altar the sword was turned against the laity. Judges 
were appointed in the temples to condemn to death all who refused to sacri- 
fice, and torments till then unheard of were invented. And that no man 
might have the benefit of the law that was not a heathen, altars were erected 



[April 27. 

in the very courts of justice, and in the public offices, that all might be 
obliged to offer sacrifice, before they could be admitted to plead/ Eusebius 
adds, that the people were not suffered to buy or sell any thing, to draw- 
water, grind their corn, or transact any business, without first offering up 
incense to certain idols set up in market-places, at the corners of the streets, 
at the public fountains, &c. But the tortures which were invented, and the 
courage with which the holy martyrs laid down their lives for Christ, no 
words can express. Persons of every age and sex were burnt, not singly 
one by one, but, on account of their numbers, whole companies of them were 
burnt together, by setting fire round about them : while others, being tied 
together in great numbers, were cast into the sea. The Roman Martyrology 
commemorates, on the 27th of April, all that suffered on this occasion at 

The month following, these edicts were published in the other parts of 
the empire ; and in April two new ones were added, chiefly regarding the 
clergy. In the beginning of the year 304, a fourth edict was issued- out, 
commanding all Christians to be put to death who should refuse to renounce 
their faith. Lactantius describes* how much the governors made it their 
glory to overcome one Christian by all sorts of artifice and cruelty. For the 
devil, by his instruments, sought not so much to destroy the bodies of the 
servants of God by death, as their souls by sin. Almost the whole empire 
seemed a deluge of blood, in such abundance did its streams water, or rather 
drown the provinces. Constantius himself, though a just prince, and a 
favorer of the Christians, was not able to protect Britain, where he com- 
manded, from the first fury of this storm. The persecutors flattered them- 
selves they'had extinguished the Christian name, and boasted as much in 
public inscriptions, two of which are still extant. But God by this very 
means increased his church, and the persecutors' sword fell upon their own 
heads. Dioclesian, intimidated by the power and threats of this very favor- 
ite Galerius, resigned to him the purple at Nicomedia, on the first of April, 
in 304. Herculeus made the like abdication at Milan. But the persecu- 
tion was carried on in the East by their successors ten years longer, till, in 
313, Licinius having defeated Maximinus Daia, the nephew and successor 
of Galerius, joined with Constaiitine in a league in favor of Christianity. 
Dioclesian had led a private life in his own country, Dalmatia, near Salone, 
where now Spalatro stands, in which city stately ruins of his palace are pre- 
tended to be shown. When Herculeus exhorted him to reassume the pur- 
ple, he answered : " If you had seen the herbs, which with my own hands 
I have planted at Salone, you would not talk to me of empires." But this 
philosophic temper was only the effect of cowardice and fear. He lived to 
see his wife and daughter put to death by Licinius, and the Christian reli- 
gion protected by law, in 313. Having received a threatening letter from 
Constantine and Licinius, in which he was accused of having favored Max- 
entius and Maximinus against them, he put an end to his miserable life by 
poison, as Victor writes. Lactantius says, that seeing himself despised by 
the whole world, he was in a perpetual uneasiness, and could neither eat nor 
sleep. He was heard to sigh and groan continually, and was seen often to 
weep, and to be tumbling sometimes on his bed, and sometimes on the 
ground. His colleague, Maximinian Herculeus, thrice attempted to resume 
the purple, and even snatched it from his own son, Maxentius, and at length 
in despair hanged himself, in 310. Miserable also was the end of all their 
persecuting successors, Maxentius, the son of Herculeus, in the West, and 
of Galerius and his nephew Maximinus Daia, in the East. No less visible 

■» Lact. c. 15, De Mort. Pers. 

B Instit. 1. 5, c. 11. 

April 27.] s, anastasius, p. c. 169 

was the hand of God in punishing the authors of the foregoing general 
persecutions, as is set forth by Lactantius, in a valuable treatise entitled, On 
the Death of the Persecutors.* 

Thus, while the martyrs gained immortal crowns, and virtue triumphed 
by the means of malice itself, God usually, even in this world, began to 
avenge his injured justice in the chastisement of his enemies. Though it 
is in eternity that the distinction of real happiness and misery will appear. 
There all men will clearly see that the only advantage in life is to die well : 
all other things are of very small importance. Prosperity or adversity, 
honor or disgrace, pleasure or pain, disappear and are lost in eternity. 
Then will men entirely lose sight of those vicissitudes which here so often 
alarmed, or so strongly affected them. Worldly greatness and abjection, 
riches and poverty, health and sickness, will then seem equal, or the same 
thing. The use which every one has made of all these things will make 
the only difference. The martyrs having eternity always present, and 
placing all their joy and all their glory in the divine will and love, ran cheer- 
fully to their crowns, contemning the blandishments of the world, and re- 
gardless even of torments and death. 


He was by birth a Roman, and had, by many combats and labors, ac- 
quired a high reputation for his virtues and abilities. He succeeded Siricius 
in the papacy, in 398. St. Jerom calls him' a man of a holy life, of a most 
rich poverty, and endued with an apostolic solicitude and zeal. He exerted 
himself in stopping the progress of Origenism. When Rufinus had trans- 
lated the dangerous books of Origen, On the Principles, he condemned 

1 S. Hier. Ep. 4, ad. Demetriadem, t. 4, p. 793. 

* TertuUian observes, that it was the glory of the Christian religion that the first emperor that drew 
his sword against it was Nero, ihe sworn enemy of all virtue. This tyrant, four years after he had begun, 
in 64, to exert his rage against the Christians, in his extreme distress attempted to kill himself; but, want- 
ing resolution, he prevailed upon another to help him to take away his life, and peris-hed under the public 
resentment of the whole empire, and the universal detestation of all mankind, for his execrable cruelties 
and abominations. Domitian persecuted the church in 95, and was murdered by his own servants the 
year following. Trajan, Adrian, Titus, Antoninus, and Marcus Aurelius rather tolerated than raised per- 
secutions, and escaped violent deaths. Severus, after he began, in 202, to oppress the Christians, fell into 
disasters, and died weary of life, leaving behind him a most profligate son, who had attempted to take 
away the life of his father, and afterwards killed his brother: and his whole family perished miserably. 
Decius, after a short reign, died in battle. Callus was killed the year after he commenced persecutor. 
Valerian was a cruel enemy to the Christians, and died in miserable captivity in Persia. Aurelian was 
killed in 274. Maximinus I. was slain after a reign of three years. Nothing prospered with Uiuclesian 
after he began his war against the church : out of cowardice he abdicated the empire, and at length put 
an end to his own life. His colleague, Maximian Herculeiis, was compelled to hang himself in 310. 
Maximian Galerius, the most cruel author of Dioclesian's persecution, was seized with a grievous and 
terrible disease. For, being extremely fat and unwieldy, the huge mass of flesh was overrun with putre- 
faction, and swarmed with vermin : and the stench that came from him was not to be borne even by his 
own servants, as Eusebius relates, (b. 8, c. 16.) Maxentius II., after being defeated by Licinlus, was com- 
pelled by him to repeal his edicts against the Christians, and died in 313, in exquisite torments, under a 
distemper not unlike that of Galerius. For, while his army was drawn up in the field, he was lurking 
and hiding his cowardly head at home, and flying to Tarsus, not knowing where to find a place of refuge 
on land or sea, but scared everywhere with his fears : he was also struck with a sore distemper over his 
whole body. In the most acute and insufferable anguish, he rolled himself upon the ground, and pined 
away by long fasting, so that he looked like a withered and dried skeleton. At iast, he who had put out 
the eyes of the Christians, lost his sight, and his eyes started out of his head ; and, yet still breathing and 
confessing his sins, he called upon death to come and release him, which advanced slowly, and not till 
he had acknowledged that he deserved what he suffered for his cruelty, and for the insults which he had 
committed against Jesus Christ, as Eusebius relates, (Hist. 1. 9, c. 10;) who adds, thai all the rulers of 
provinces who had acted under him, and persecuted the Christians, were put to death, as Pincentius, his 
principal favorite, Culcianus, in Egypt, Theotecnus, and others. Urbanus, the cruel governor of Pales- 
tine, had been convicted of many crimes at Ccesarea, and condemned to a shameful death by Maximinus 
himself; and his successor, Firmilianus, had met with the same fate from the hands of his master, whom, 
by his cruelties, he had studied to please. Licinius, the last of these persecutors, was a worthless and 
stupid prince, who could not read or write his own name, hated all men of learning, and was a foe to re- 
ligion. He, to please Constantine, for some time favored the Christians, and pretended himself ready to 
become one ; but at last threw off the mask, and persecuted the church, when he was conquered and put 
to death by Constantine, in 323. See Mr. Jortin, t. 3 ; Tillemont, Hist, des Emp. 

VOL. II. — 22 


S. ZITA, V. 

[April 27. 

that translation as tending to weaken our faith, built on the tradition of the 
apostles and our fathers, as he says in his letter on this subject, to John, 
bishop of Jerusalem.^ As to Rufinus, he leaves to God his intention in 
translating this work.* In this epistle he calls all people and nations scat- 
tered over the earth, the parts of his body."]" He sat three years and ten 
days, dying on the 14th of December, 401. St. Jerom says,^ that God took 
him out of this \yorld lest Rome should be plundered under such a head : 
for in 410, it fell into the hands of Alaric the Goth. The remains of this 
holy pope have been often translated : the greatest part now rest in the 
church of St. Praxedes. The Roman Martyrology commemorates his 
name on this day, which is probably that of one of these translations. See 
Ceillier, t. 8, p. 556, &c. 


She was bom in the beginning of the thirteenth century, at Montsegradi, 
a village near Lucca, in Italy. She was brought up with the greatest care, 
in the fear of God, by her poor virtuous mother, whose early and constant 
attention to inspire the tender heart of her daughter with religious senti- 
ments seemed to find no obstacles, either from private passions or the general 
corruption of nature ; so easily were they prevented or overcome. Zita 
had no sooner attained the use of reason, and was capable of knowing and 
loving God, than her heart was no longer able to relish any other object, 
and she seemed never to lose sight of him in her actions. Her mother re- 
duced all her instructions to two short heads, and never had occasion to 
use any further remonstrance to enforce her lessons than to say : " This is 
most pleasing to God ; this is the divine will," or, " That would displease 
God." The sweetness and modesty of the young child charmed every one 
who saw her. She spoke little, and was most assiduous at her work, but 
her business never seemed to interrupt her prayers. At twelve years of 
age she was put to service in the family of a citizen of Lucca, called 
Fatinelli, whose house was contiguous to the church of St. Frigidian. She 
was thoroughly persuaded that labor is enjoined all men as a punishment of 
sin, and as a remedy for the spiritual disorders of their souls : and, far from 
ever harboring in her breast the least uneasiness, or expressing any sort of 
complaint under contradictions, poverty, and hardships, and, still more from 
ever entertaining the least idle, inordinate, or worldly desire, she blessed 
God for placing her in a station in which she was supplied with the most 
effectual means to promote her sanctification, by the necessity of employ- 
ing herself in penitential labor, and of living in a perpetual conformity and 
submission of her will to others. She was also very sensible of the advan- 
tages of her state, which afforded all necessaries of life, without engaging 
her in the anxious cares and violent passions by which worldly persons, 
who enjoy most plentifully the goods of fortune, are often disturbed ; where- 

s Epist. Deer. 1. 1, p. 739. 

3 Ep. 96, ad princip. p. 782. 

* F. Gamier published this letter in his edition of Marius Mercator, p. 3, but interpolated in the end, 
where it is pretended that Anastasius declares Rufinus himself to have been tondenined by the holy see. 
This interpolation is omitted in the accurate edition of Coutant, t. 1, p. 738. It is not found in the best 
manuscripts ; and is contrary to what this pope had said before in the same epistle, that he leaves Rufi- 
nus's conscience and intention to God his judge. 

t Mihi cura non deerit, evangelii fidem circa meos populos custodire, partesqiie corporis, per spatia 
diversa terrarum diffusas, quantis possum litteris convenire, ne qua profanie inter|)retationis origo subre- 
pat, qucE devotas immissa sui caligine mentes labefactare conetur. Anast. Papa, Ep. ad Jean. Hier. apud 
Coutant. Ep. decretal. 1. 1, p. 739. Pope Celestine afterwards, writing to the clergy and people of Constanti- 
nople, uses the like phrase : Nos licet longe positi, ubl cognovinius perversitate doctrine membra nostra 

lacerari, paternl solicitudine nos urente, pro vobls alieno flagravimus incendio. Cum nostra viscera 

sitis, jure trepidamus, &c. p. 1, Cone. Ephesin. cap. 19. 

April 27.] 

S. ZITA, V. 


by their souls resemble a troubled sea, always agitated by impetuous storms, 
without knowing the sweetness of a true calm. She considered her work 
as an employment assigned her by God, and as part of her penance ; and 
obeyed her master and mistress in all things, as being placed over her by 
God. She always rose several hours before the rest of the family, and 
employed in prayer a considerable part of the time which others gave to 
sleep. She took care to hear mass every morning with great devotion, 
before she Avas called upon by the duties of her station, in which she em- 
ployed the whole day with such diligence and fidelity that she seemed to 
be carried to them on wings, and studied when possible to anticipate them. 
Notwithstanding her extreme attention to her exterior employments, she 
acquired a wonderful facility of joining with them almost continual mental 
prayer, and of keeping her soul constantly attentive to the divine presence. 
Who would not imagine that such a person should have been esteemed and 
beloved by all who knew her 1 Nevertheless, by the appointment of divine 
providence, for her great spiritual advantage, it fell out quite otherwise, and 
for several years she suffered the harshest trials. Her modesty was called 
by her fellow-servants simplicity, and want of spirit and sense ; and her 
diligence was judged to have no other spring than affectation and secret 
pride. Her mistress v/as a long time extremely prepossessed against her, 
and her passionate master could not bear her in his sight without transports 
of rage. It is not to be conceived how much the saint had continually to 
suffer in this situation. So unjustly despised, overburdened, reviled, and 
often beaten, she never repined nor lost her patience ; but always preserved 
the same sweetness in her countenance, and the same meekness and charity 
in her heart and words, and abated nothing of her application to her duties. 
A virtue so constant and so admirable, at length overcame jealousy, antip- 
athy, prepossession, and malice. Her master and mistress discovered the 
treasure which their family possessed in the fidelity and example of the 
humble saint, and the other servants gave due praise to her virtue. Zita 
feared this prosperity more than adversity, and trembled lest it should be 
a snare to her soul. But sincere humility preserved her from its dangers ; 
and her behavior, amidst the caresses and respect shown her, continued 
the same as when she was ill-treated and held in derision ; she was no less 
affable, meek, and modest ; no less devout, nor less dihgent or ready to 
serve every one. Being made housekeeper, and seeing her master and 
mistress commit to her, with an entire confidence, the government of their 
family and management of all their affairs, she was most scrupulously care- 
ful in point of economy, remembering that she was to give to God an account 
of the least farthing of what was intrusted as a depositum in her hands ; 
and, though head-servant, she never allowed herself the least privilege or 
exemption in her work on that account. She used often to say to others, 
that devotion is false if slothful. Hearing a man-servant speak one im- 
modest word, she was filled with horror, and procured him to be immediately 
discharged from the family. With David, she desired to see it composed 
only of such whose approved piety might draw down a benediction of God 
upon the whole house, and be a security to the master for their fidelity and 
good example. She kept fast the whole year, and often on bread and 
water ; and took her rest on the bare floor, or on a board. Whenever busi- 
ness allowed her a little leisure, she spent it in holy prayer and contempla- 
tion in a little retired room in the garret; and at her work repeated frequently 
ardent ejaculations of divine love, with which her sovd appeared always 
inflamed. She respected her fellow-servants as her superiors. If she was 
sent on commissions a mile or two in the greatest storms, she set out with- 
out delay, executed them punctually, and returned often almost drowned, 

172 s. viTALis, M. [April 28. 

without showing any sign of reluctance or murmuring. By her virtue she 
gained so great an ascendant over her master, that a single word would 
often suffice to check the greatest transports of his rage ; and she would 
sometimes cast herself at his feet to appease him in favor of others. She 
never kept any thing for herself but the poor garments which she wore ; every 
thing else she gave to the poor. Her master, seeing his goods multiply, as 
it were, in her hands, gave her ample leave to bestow liberal alms on the 
poor; which she made use of with discretion, but was scrupulous to do 
nothing without his express authority. If she heard others spoken ill of, 
she zealously took upon her their defence, and excused their faults. Al- 
ways when she communicated, and often when she heard mass, and on 
other occasions, she melted in sweet tears of divine love : she was often 
favored with ecstasies during her prayers. In her last sickness, she clearly 
foretold her death, and having prepared herself for her passage by receiving 
the last sacraments, and by ardent sighs of love, she happily expired on 
the 27th of April, in 1272, being sixty years old: one hundred and fifty 
miracles wrought in the behalf of such as had recourse to her intercession 
have been juridically proved. Her body was found entire in 1580, and is 
kept with great respect in St. Frigidian's church, richly enshrined; her 
face and hands are exposed naked to view through a crystal glass. Pope 
Leo X. granted an office in her honor. The city of Lucca pays a singular 
veneration to her memory. The solemn decree of her beatification was 
published by Innocent XII. in 1696, with the confirmation of her imme- 
morial veneration. See her life compiled by a contemporary writer, and 
published by Papebroke the BoUandist, on the 27th of April, p. 497, and 
Benedict XIV. De Canoniz. 1. 2, c. 24, p. 245. 



From Fortunatus, 1. 1, carm. 2, p. 33. His acts and the supposititious letter under the name of St. Ambrose, 

were written only in the ninth age. 


St. ViTALis is honored as the principal patron of the city of Ravenna, in 
which he glorified God by martyrdom in the persecution of Nero. He was 
a citizen of Milan, and is said in his acts to have been the father of SS. 
Gervasius and Protasius. The divine providence conducted him to Ravenna, 
where he saw a Christian named Ursicinus, who was condemned to lose his 
head for his faith, standing aghast at the sight of death, and seeming ready 
to yield. Happy is he who, by a perfect diffidence in himself and a sincere 
humility, obtains strength and comfort from above in the fiery trials of his 
last conflicts ; when the devil rages with the greatest fury, knowing that he 
has only a little time to compass the ruin of a soul forever. Vitalis was 
extremely moved at this spectacle. The honor of God, which was in dan- 
ger of being insulted by sin, and the soul of a brother in Christ which appear- 
ed to be upon the very brink of apostacy, were alarming objects to awake 
his zeal. He who dreaded the presumption of rashly seeking the combat, 
knew his double obligation of preferring the glory of God, and the eternal 

April 28.] 



salvation of his neighbor to his own corporeal life : he therefore boldly and 
successfully encouraged Ursicinus to triumph over death, and after his mar- 
tyrdom carried off his body, and respectfully interred it. The judge, whose 
name was Paulinus, being informed of what he had done, caused him to be 
apprehended, stretched on the rack, and, after other torments, to be buried 
alive in a place called the Palm-tree, in Ravenna, as Fortunatus and his acts 
relate. These acts add that his wife, Valeria, returning from Ravenna to 
Milan, was beaten to death by certain peasants, because she refused to join 
them in an idolatrous festival and riot. The relics of St. Vitalis are depos- 
ited in the great church which bears his name in Ravenna, and was magnifi- 
cently built by the emperor Justinian, in 547. It belongs to a noble Bene- 
dictin abbey, where in a ruinous private chapel are shown the tombs of the 
emperor Honorius, and of the princes and princesses of his family. 

We are not all called to the sacrifice of martyrdom ; but all are bound to 
make their whole lives a continued sacrifice of themselves to God, and to 
perform every action in this perfect spirit of sacrifice. An ardent desire of 
devoting ourselves totally to God in life and in death, and a cheerful readi- 
ness to do and to suffer whatever he requires of us, in order constantly to 
accomplish his divine will, is a disposition which ought to accompany and 
to animate all our actions. The perfection of our sacrifice depends on the 
purity, fervor, and constancy of this desire. We must in particular make 
our bodies and our souls, with all their faculties, continual victims to God : 
our bodies by patient suff"ering, voluntary mortification, chastity, temperance, 
and penitential labor : our souls by a continual spirit of compunction, adora- 
tion, love, and praise. Thus we shall both live and die to God, perfectly 
resigned to his holy will in all his appointments. 


From their beautiful acts, copied in part from the presidial registers, the rest being added by an eye-witness, 
extant in Ruinart and the BoUandists, t. 3, Apr. in Append, p. ixiii. See also St. Ambrose de Virgin. I- 
2, c. 4. 

A. D. 304. 

EusTRATiDS Proculus, imperial prefect of Alexandria, being seated on 
his tribunal, said : " Call hither the virgin Theodora." A sergeant of the 
court answered : " She is here." The prefect said to her : " Of what con- 
dition are you?" Theodora replied : " I am a Christian." Prefect. "Are 
you a slave or a free woman ?" Theodora. " I am a Christian, and made 
free by Christ ; I am also born of what the world calls free parents." Pre- 
fect. '* Call hither the bailiff"* of the city." When he was come, the pre- 
fect asked him what he knew of the virgin Theodora. Lucius, the bailiff", 
answered : " I know her to be a free woman, and of a very good family in 
the city." " What is the reason, then," said the judge to Theodora, " that 
you are not married ?" Theodora. " That I may render myself the more 
pleasing and acceptable to Jesus Christ, who being become man, hath with- 
drawn us from corruption ; and as long as I continue faithful to him, will, I 
hope, preserve me from all defilement." Prefect. " The emperors have 
ordered that you virgins shall either sacrifice to the gods, or be exposed in 
infamous places." Theodora. " I believe you are not ignorant that it is 
the will which God regards in every action ; and that if my soul continue 
chaste and pure, it can receive no prejudice from outward violence." Pre- 

* Curatorem civitatis. Curateur, Fleury : Bailiff, Ainsworth. 



[April 28. 

FECT. " Your birth and beauty make me pity your but this compassion shall 
not save you unless you obey. I swear by the gods, you shall either sacri- 
fice or be' made the disgrace of your family, and the scorn of all virtuous and 
honorable persons." He then repeated the ordinance of the emperors, to 
which Theodora made the same reply as before, and added : " If you cut 
off unjustly my arm or head, will the guilt be charged to me, or to him that 
commits the outrage 1 I am united to God by the vow I have made to him of 
my virginity ; he is the master of my body and my soul, and into his hands 
I commit the protection of both my faith and chastity." Prefect. " Re- 
member your birth : will you dishonor your family by an eternal infamy 1" 
Theodora. " The source of true honor is Jesus Christ : my soul draws all 
its lustre from him. He will preserve his dove from falling into the power 
of the hawk." Prefect. " Alas, silly woman ! do you place your confi- 
dence in a crucified man 1 do you imagine it will be in his power to protect 
your virtue if you expose it to the trial ?" Theodora. " Yes, I most firmly 
believe that Jesus, who suffered under Pilate, will deliver me from all who 
have conspired my ruin, and will preserve me pure and spotless. Judge, 
then, if I can renounce him." Prefect. "I bear with you a long time, 
and do not yet put you to the torture. But if you continue thus obstinate, I 
will have no more regard for you than for the most despicable slave." 
Theodora. " You are master of my body : the law has left that at your 
disposal ; but my soul you cannot touch, it is in the power of God alone." 
Prefect. " Give her two great buffets to cure her of her folly, and teach 
her to sacrifice." Theodora. " Through the assistance of Jesus Christ, 
I will never sacrifice to, nor adore devils. He is my protector." Prefect. 
" You compel me, notwithstanding your quality, to aff'ront you before all the 
people. This is a degree of madness." Theodora. " This holy madness 
is true wisdom ; and what you call an affront will be my eternal glory." 
Prefect. " I am out of patience ; I will execute the edict. I should my- 
self be guilty of disobeying the emperors, were I to dally any longer." 
Theodora. " You are afraid of displeasing a man, and can you reproach 
me because I refuse to offend God, because I stand in awe of the emperor 
of heaven and earth, and seek to obey his will." Prefect. " In the mean 
time you make no scruple of slighting the commands of the emperors, and 
abusing my patience. I will, notwithstanding, allow you three days to con- 
sider what to do ; if within that term you do not comply with what I require, 
by the gods, you shall be exposed, that all other women may take warning 
from your example." Theodora. " Look on these three days as already 
expired. You will find me the same then as now. There is a God who 
will not forsake me. Do what you please. My only request is, that I may 
be screened in the mean time from insults on my chastity." Prefect. 
" That is but just. I therefore ordain that Theodora be under guard for 
three days, and that no violence be offered her during that time, nor rude- 
ness shown her, out of regard to her birth and quality." The three days 
being elapsed, Proculus ordered Theodora to be brought before him : and 
seeing she persisted in her resolution, said : " The just fear of incurring the 
indignation of the emperors obliges me to execute their commands : where- 
fore sacrifice to the gods, or I pronounce the threatened sentence. We shall 
see if your Christ, for whose sake you continue thus obstinate, will deliver 
you from the infamy to which the edict of the emperors condemns you.** 
Theodora. " Be in no pain about that." Sentence hereupon being pro- 
nounced, the saint was conducted to the infamous place. On entering it, she 
lifted up her eyes to God, and said : " Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as- 
sist me and take me hence : Thou, who deUveredst Saint Peter from prison 
without his sustaining any hurt, guard and protect my chastity here, that all 

April 28.] 



may know I am thy servant." A troop of debauchees quickly surrounded 
the house, and looked on this innocent beauty as their prey. But Jesus 
Christ watched over his spouse, and sent one of his servants to deliver her. 
Among the Christians of Alexandria, there was a zealous young mail, named 
Didymus, who, desiring earnestly to rescue the virgin out of her danger, 
habited himself like a soldier, and went boldly into the room where she was. 
Theodora, seeing him approach her, was at first much troubled, and fled from 
him into the several corners of the room. He, overtaking her, said to her : 
" Sister, fear nothhig from me. I am not such a one as you take me to be. I 
am your brother in Christ, and have thus disguised myself on purpose to deliver 
you. Come, let us change habits : take you my clothes and go out, and I 
will remain here in yours : thus disguised, save yourself.'' Theodora did as 
she was desired : she also put on his armor, and he pulled down the hat over 
her eyes, and charged her in going out to cast them on the ground, and not 
stop to speak to any one, but walk fast, in imitation of a person seeming 
ashamed, and fearing to be known after the perpetration of an infamous ac- 
tion. When Theodora was by this stratagem out of danger, her soul took 
its flight towards heaven, in ardent ejaculations to God her deliverer. 

A short time after, came in one of the lewd crew on a wicked intent, but 
was extremely surprised to find a man there instead of the virgin : and hear- 
ing from him the history of what had passed, went out, and published it 
abroad. The judge, being informed of the affair, sent for the voluntary pris- 
oner, and asked him his name. He answered: "I am called Didymus." 
The prefect then asked him who put him upon this extraordinary adventure. 
Didymus told him it was God that had inspired him with this method to res- 
cue his handmaid. The prefect then said : " Before I put you to the tor- 
ture, declare where Theodora is." Didymus. "By Christ, the Son of God, 
I know not. All that I certainly know of her is, that she is a servant of 
God, and that He has preserved her spotless : God hath done to her accord- 
ing to her faith in him." Prefect. " Of what condition are you ?" Didy- 
mus. " I am a Christian, and delivered by Jesus Christ." Prefect. " Put 
him to the torture doubly to what is usual, as the excess of his insolence de- 
serves." Didymus. " I beg you to execute speedily on me the orders of 
your masters, whatever they may be." Prefect. " By the gods, the tor- 
ture doubled is your immediate lot, urdess you sacrifice : if you do this your 
first crime shall be forgiven you." Didymus. " I have already given proof 
that I am a champion of Christ, and fear not to suffer in his cause. My in- 
tention in this matter was twofold, to prevent the virgin's being defloured, 
and to give an instance of my steady faith and hope in Christ ; being assu- 
red I shall survive all the torments you can inflict upon me. The dread of 
the crudest death you can devise will not prevail on me to sacrifice to 
devils." Prefect. " For your bold rashness, and because you have con- 
temned the commands of our lords the emperors, you shall be beheaded, 
and your corpse shall be burnt." Didymus. " Blessed be God, the Father 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath not despised my offering, and hath pre- 
served spotless his handmaid Theodora. He crowns me doubly." Didy- 
mus was, according to this sentence, beheaded, and his body burnt. Thus 
far the acts. 

St. Ambrose,' who relates this history of Theodora, (whom he calls by 
mistake a virgin of Antioch,) adds, that she ran to the place of execution to 
Didymus, and would needs die in his place, and that she was also behead- 
ed ; which the Greeks say happened shortly after his martyrdom. St. Am- 
brose most beautifully paints the strife of these holy martyrs, at the place of 
execution, which of the two should bear away the palm of martyrdom. The 

1 De Virgin, b. 2, c. 4. 



[April 28. 

virgin urged, that she owed indeed to him the preservation of her corporal 
integrity ; but would not yield to him the privilege of carrying away her 
crown. " You was bail," said she, " for my modesty, not for my life. If 
my virginity be in danger, your bond holds good : if my life be required, 
this debt I myself can discharge. The sentence of condemnation was pass- 
ed upon me : I am further obnoxious, not only by my flight, but by giving 
occasion to the death of another. I fled, not from death, but from an injury 
to my virtue. This body, which is not to be exposed to an insult against 
its integrity, is capable of suffering for Christ. If you rob me of my crown, 
you have not saved, but deceived me." The two saints, thus contending for 
the palm, both conquered : the crown was not divided, but given to each. 
St. Didymus is looked upon to have suffered under Dioclesian, in 304, and 
at Alexandria. The Roman Martyrology commemorates these two saints 
on this day. 



From his genuine acts, probably extracted from the court register, though collected under the emperor 

Valentinian : extant at Ruinart. 

A. D. 304. 

Probus, governor of Pannonia, under Dioclesian, in 304, having put to 
death St. Montanus, priest at Singidon, St. Irenseus, bishop of Sirmium, and 
others, arrived at Cibales, a great town between the rivers Save and Drave, 
afterwards the birthplace of the emperor Valentinian ; but now destroyed. 
The very same day on which he arrived, Pollio, the first of the readers of 
that church, was apprehended ; a person of great virtue and a lively faith, of 
which he had already given signal proofs. He was presented to the gov- 
ernor as he was coming out of his chariot, and accused as the most impious 
of the Christians, and one who spoke disrespectfully of the gods. Probus 
having asked his name, and if he were a Christian, inquired of him what 
office he bore. "1 am," said PoUio, "the chief of the readers." Probus. 
" Of what readers ?" Pollio. " Why, of those who read the word of God 
to the people.'"' Probus. " I suppose you mean by that name a set of men 
who find v/ays and means to impose on the credulity of fickle and silly wo- 
men, and persuade them to observe chastity, and refrain from marriage." 
Pollio. "Those are the fickle and foolish who abandon their Creator to fol- 
low your superstitions ; while our hearers are so steady in the profession 
of the truths they have imbibed from our lectures, that no torments prevail 
with them to transgress the precepts of the eternal King." Probus. " Of 
what king, and of what precepts do you speak?" Pollio. "I mean the 
holy precepts of the eternal King, Jesus Christ." Probus. "What do those 
precepts teach V Pollio. " They inculcate the belief and adoration of one 
only God, who causeth thunder in the heavens ; and they teach that what is 
made of v/ood or stone, deserves not to be Ccilled God. They correct sin- 
ners, animate and strengthen the good in virtue : teach virgins to attain to 
the perfection of their state, and the married to live up to the rules of con- 
jugal chastity: they teach masters to command with .mildness and modera- 
tion, slaves to submit with love and affection, subjects to obey all in power 
in all things that are just ; in a word, they teach us to honor parents, requite 
our friends, forgive our enemies, exercise hospitality to strangers, assist 
the poor, to be just, kind, and charitable to all men ; to believe a happy im- 
mortality prepared for those who despise the momentary death which you 

April 28.J 



have power to inflict." Probus. " Of what feUcity is a man capable after 
death ?" Pollio. " There is no comparison between the happiness of this 
and the next life. The fleeting comlorts of this mortal state deserve not 
the name of goods, when compared with the permanent joys of eternity." 
Probus. "This is foreign to our purpose ; let us come to the point of the 
edict." PoLLio. " What is the purport of it ?" Probus. " That you must 
sacrifice to the gods." Pollio. " Sacrifice I will not, let what will be the 
consequence ; for it is written : He that shall sacrifice to devils, and not to 
God, shall be exterminated." Probus. " Then you must resolve to die." 
PoLLio. " My resolution is fixed : do Avhat you are commanded." Probus 
thereupon condemned him to be burnt alive ; and the sentence was immedi- 
ately executed, at the distance of a mile from the town. Thus the acts. He 
suffered on the 27th of April, in 304, the same day on which, according to 
the acts of Pollio, St. Eusebius, bishop of the same city, had suffered sev- 
eral years before, perhaps under Valerian. 


A MONASTERY which lie founded in the county of Tipperary, in Ireland ; 
which afterwards became a bishop's see, long since united to that of Killa- 
loe. St. Cronan died about the year 640, and was honored as titular saint 
of the church of Roscrea, which was possessed of his relics. See Usher's 
Antiq., p. 502. 



From liis authentic acts in Ruinart. In the Clironicon nf George Hamartolus, of which a MS. copy is ex- 
tant in the Coislinian library at S. Geniiain-des Prez, in Paris, (Cod. 305,) is inserted fol. 200. Patricii 
Episcopi PrusiE responsio ad Jndiceni. See the acts of this lioly martyr most accurately given by Mazo- 
cliio, witli five learned disqnisitions on his see, -ige, &c., in the commentary which he published in 
Marmor Neapolitanum, sen Veins Kalendariujn SS. Neapolit. Ecclesia^, t. 2, p. 301, ad 19 Jlaii. 

There were anciently, in Bithynia, three cities known by the name of 
Prusa ; that whereof St. Patricius was bishop, was famous for its hot baths, 
near which stood a temple wherein sacrifices were offered to Esculapius 
and to Health : the latter being adored as a goddess by the Romans, had a 
temple in Rome itself, as is mentioned by Livy.' His acts give the follow- 
ing account of his martyrdom. Julius, proconsul of Bithynia, beirig at Pru- 
sa, after bathing in the hot baths and sacrificing to Esculapius and Health, 
found himself fresh, vigorous, and in good he'alth, for which he imagined 
himself indebted to those divinities. With a view, therefore, to make a 
grateful return to these imaginary deities, he was determined to oblige Pa- 
tricius to oiTer sacrifice to them. Wherefore, being seated on his tribunal, 
and having caused Patricius to be brought before him, he said to him: " You, 
who being led away by silly tales, are weak enough to invoke Christ, deny 
if you can the power of our gods, and their providential care over us, in 
granting us these mineral waters, endued by them with salutary virtues. 
I therefore insist on your sacrificing to Esculapius, as you hope to avoid 
being severely tormented for your non-compliance." Patricius. " How 
many wicked things are contained in the few words you have been utter- 
ing!" Proconsul. " What wickedness can you discover in my discourse, 
who have advanced nothing in it but what is plain matter of fact ? Are not 

IL. 5. 

VOL. 11. — 23 

178 S. PATRICIUS, B. M. [ApRIL 28, 

the daily cures, wrought by these waters, clear and manifest? Don't we 
see and experience them ?" Patricius did not deny the salutary virtues of 
the waters, nor the cures wrought by them upon human bodies, but endeav- 
ored to convince the governor, and a numerous audience, that these waters, 
and all other things, had received their being and perfections from the one 
only true God, and his Son Jesus Christ.* And while he was endeavoring 
to account for their heat and ebullition, from secondary causes, he was in- 
terrupted by the proconsul's crying out: "You pretend, then, that Christ 
made these waters, and gave them their virtue ?" Patricius. "Yes; with- 
out all doubt he did." Proconsul. " If I throw you into these waters to 
punish you for your contempt of the gods, do you imagine your Christ, whom 
you suppose the maker of them, will preserve your life in the midst of 
them?" Patricius. "I do not contemn your gods, for no one can contemn 
what does not exist : I would have you convinced that Jesus Christ can pre- 
serve my life, when I am throv/n into these waters, as easily as he can per- 
mit them to take it away: and that whatever relates to me, or is to befall 
me, is perfectly known to him, as he is present everywhere ; for not a bird 
falls to the ground, nor a hair from our heads, but by his good will and pleas- 
ure. This I would have all look upon as an oracle of truth itself; and 
that an eternal punishment in hell awaits all such as, like you, adore idols." 
These words so enraged the proconsul, that he commanded the holy bishop 
to be immediately stripped and cast into the scalding water. While they 
were throwing him in, he prayed thus : " Lord Jesus Christ, assist thy ser- 
vant." Several of the guards were scalded by the dashing of the water. 
But it had no such effect upon the martyr, who, like the three children in 
the Babylonian furnace, continued in it a considerable time without hurt, 
being affected no more by it than if it had been an agreeable temperate bath. 
The enraged proconsul ordered him thereupon to be taken out and beheaded. 
The martyr, having recommended his soul to God by a short prayer, knelt 
down, and had his head struck off pursuant to the sentence. The faithful 
that were present at the execution carried off his body, and gave it a decent 
interment near the high road. His martyrdom happened on the 19th of 
May. Thus his acts. It does not appear in what persecution he suffered. 
He is commemorated in the Greek Menaea on the 19th of May; in the Me- 
nology published by Canisius on the 28th of April and on the 19th of May, 
and in the Roman Martyrology on the 28th of April, probably the day of the 
translation of his relics. Both the Greek and Roman calendars join SS. 
Acacius, Menander, and Polyasnus, who were beheaded with him for the 
faith. Le Quien^ reckons St. Alexander, who is honored with the title of 
bishop of Prusa, and martyr on the 10th of June, in the Greek Mentea, the 
first bishop of that city whose name has reached us, and St. Patricius the 
second, George, who was present in the council of Nice, the third, and St. 
Timothy the fourth, who was crowned with martyrdom under Julian the 
Apostate, according to the several Greek calendars both in their Mensea, 
Menologies, and Synaxaries, which mention him on the 10th of June. Some 
name Constantinople as the chief place of his veneration. Perhaps he suf- 
fered in that city : at least his relics were preserved there in a famous 
church which bore his name : on which see Du Cange.^ 

2 Oiiens Christ, t. 1, p. 616. ^ ConstantinopoUs Christiana, p. 140. 

* The discourse may be seen at length in his acts, given in Ruinart, in which he ascribes the heat of 
these and the like waters to subterraneous fires: and the martyr takes occasion from thence to speak of 
hell and its never-ending torments. Some philosophers, both ancient and modern, imagine a central fire 
in the bowels of the earth : others more probably ascribe all subterraneous heat and fire to fermenting or 
inflammable materials, which are found almost everywhere in some degree, especially in great depths, in 
tlie earth. 

April 29. J 






From his life, by Thomas of Leontino, a Dominican fiiar, who had resided long with him at Verona, and 
was afterwards patriarch of .Jerusalem, &c., collected by Touron, in his life of St. Dominic, p. 480. See 
also the remarks of Papebroke, t. 3, Apr. p. 079. 

A. D. 1252. 

St. Peter the martyr was born at Verona, in 1205, of parents infected 
with the heresy of the Cathari, a sort of Manichees, who had insensibly 
made their way into the northern parts of Italy during the quarrel between 
the emperor Frederick Barbarossa and the holy see.* God preserved him 
from the danger which attended his birth, of being infected with heretical 
sentiments. His father being desirous of giving him an early tincture of 
learning, sent him, while very young, to a Catholic schoolinaster ; not ques- 
tioning but by his own instruction afterwards, and by the child's conversing 
with his heretical relations, he should be able to efface whatever impres- 
sions he might receive at school to the contrary. One of the first things he 
learned there was the apostle's creed, which the Manichees held in abhor- 
rence.^ His uncle one day, out of curiosity, asked him his lesson. The 
boy recited to him the creed, and explained it in the Catholic sense, espe- 
cially in those words : Creator of heaven and earth. In vain did his uncle 
long endeavor to persuade him it was false, and that it was not God, but the 
evil principle that made all things that are visible ; pretending many things 
in the world to be ugly and bad, which he thought inconsistent with the idea 
we ought to entertain of an infinitely perfect being. The resolute steadiness 
which the boy showed on the occasion, his uncle looked upon as a bad 
omen for their sect : but the father laughed at his fears, and sent Peter to 
the university of Bologna, in which city there then reigned a licentious cor- 
ruption of manners among the youth. God, however, who had before pro- 
tected him from heresy, preserved the purity of his heart and the innocence 
of his manners amidst these dangers. Nevertheless he continually deplored 
his melancholy situation, and fortified himself every day anew in the sover- 
eign horror of sin, and in all precautions against it. To fly it more effec- 
tually, he addressed himself to St. Dominick, and though but fifteen years 
of age, received at his hands the habit of his order. But he soon lost that 
holy director, whom God called to glory. Peter continued with no less fer- 
vor to square his life by the maxims and spirit of his holy founder, and to 
practise his rule with the most scrupulous exactness and fidelity. He went 
beyond it even in those times of its primitive fervor. He was assiduous in 
prayer ; his watchings and fasts were such, that even in his novitiate they 
considerably impaired his health; but a mitigation in them restored it before 
he made his solemn vows. When by them he had happily deprived him- 
self of his liberty, to make the more perfect sacrifice of his life to God, he 
drew upon him the eyes of all his brethren by his profound humility, inces- 
sant prayer, exact silence, and general mortification of his senses and incli- 
nations. He was a professed enemy of idleness, which he knew to be the 

* The Ven. F. Moneta, the beloved disciple of St. Dominic, in Italy, wrote about the year 1730, five 
books adversus Catharos et Waldeiises, whicli F. Ricchiiii published at Rome in 174,"?. From this work, 
and the editor's preliminary dissertations and notes, we learn many curious articles relating to the errors 
and history of these heretics. 

180 s. PETER, M. [April 29. 

bane of all virtues. Every hour of the day had its employment allotted to 
it; he being always either studying, reading, praying, serving the sick, or 
occupying himself in the most mean and abject offices, such as sweeping 
the house, &c., which, to entertain himself in sentiments of humility, he 
undertook with wonderful alacrity and satisfaction, even when he was senior 
in relio-ion. But prayer was, as it were, the seasoning both of his sacred 
studies (in which he made great progress) and of all his other actions. The 
awakening dangers of salvation he had been exposed to, from which the di- 
vine mercy had delivered him in his childhood, served to make him always 
fearful, cautious, and watchful against the snares of his spiritual enemies. 
By this means, and by the most profound humility, he was so happy as, 
in the judgment of his superiors and directors, to have preserved his baptis- 
mal innocence unsullied to his death by the guilt of any mortal sin. Grati- 
tude to his Redeemer for the graces he had received, a holy zeal for his 
honor, and a tender compassion for sinners, moved him to apply himself 
with great zeal and diligence to procure the conversion of souls to God. 
This was the subject of his daily tears and prayers; and for this end, after 
he was promoted to the holy order of priesthood, he entirely devoted him- 
self to the function of preaching, for which his superiors found him excel- 
lently qualified by the gifts both of nature and grace. He converted an in- 
credible number of heretics and sinners in the Romagna, the marquisate of 
Ancona, Tuscan}^, the Bolognese, and the Milanese. And it was by many 
tribulations, which befell him during the course of his ministry, that God 
prepared him for the crown of martyrdom. He was accused by some of his 
own brethren of admitting strangers, and even women, into his cell'. He 
did not own the calumny, because this would have been a lie, but he de- 
fended himself, without positively denying it, and with trembling in such a 
manner as to be believed guilty, not of any thing criminal, but of a breach of 
his rule : and his superiors imposed on him a claustral punishment, banished 
him to the remote little Dominican convent of Jesi, in the marquisate of Anco- 
na, and removed him from the office of preaching. Peter received this humili- 
ation with great interior joy, on seeing himself suffer something in imitation 
of Him, who, being infinite sanctity, bore with patience and silence the most 
o-rievous slanders, afflictions, and torments for our sake. But after some 
months his innocence was cleared, and he was commanded to return and 
resume his former functions with honor. He appeared everywhere in the 
pulpits with greater zeal and success than ever, and his humility drew on 
his labors an increase of graces and benedictions. The fame of his public 
miracles attested in his life, and of the numberless vi'Onderful conversions 
wrought by him, procured him universal respect : as often as he appeared 
in public, he was almost pressed to death by the crowds that flocked to him, 
some to ask his blessing, others to ofler the sick to him to be cured, others 
to receive his holy instructions. He declared war in all places against vice. 
In the Milanese he was met in every place with a cross, banner, trumpets, 
and drums ; and was often carried on a litter on men's shoulders, to pass 
the crowd. He was made superior of several houses of his order, and in 
the year 1232 was constituted by the pope inquisitor-generalof the faith. 
He had ever been the terror of the new Manichee heretics, a sect whose 
principles and practice tended to the destruction of civil society and Chris- 
tian morals. Now they saw him invested with this dignity, they conceived 
a greater hatred than ever against him. They bore it however under the 
popedom of Gregory IX., but seeing him continued in his office, and dis- 
charging it with still greater zeal under pope Innocent IV., they conspired 
his death, and hired two assassins to murder him in his return from Como 
to Milan. The ruffians lay in ambush for him on his road, and one of them, 

April 29.] 



Carinus by name, gave him two cuts on the head with an axe, and then 
stabbed his companion, called Dominic. Seeing Peter rise on his knees, 
and hearing him recommend himself to God by those words : Into thy hands, 
O Lord, I commend my soul, and recite the creed, he dispatched him by a 
wound in the side with his cuttle-axe, on the 6th of April, in 1252, the saint 
being forty-six years and some days old. His body was pompously buried 
in the Dominicans' church dedicated to St. Eustorgius, in Milan, where it still 
rests : his head is kept apart in a case of crystal and gold. The heretics were 
confounded at his heroic death, and at the wonderful miracles God wrought at 
his shrine; and in great numbers desired to be admitted into the bosom of the 
Catholic church. Carinus, the murderer of the martyr, fled out of the terri- 
tory of Milan to the city of Forli, where, being struck with remorse, he re- 
nounced his heresy, put on the habit of a lay-brother among the Dominicans, 
and persevered in penance to the edification of many. St. Peter was canon- 
ized the year after his death by Innocent IV., who appointed his festival to 
be kept on the 29th of April. The history of miracles, performed by his 
relics and intercession, fills twenty-two pages in folio in the Acta Sancto- 
rum, by the Bollandists, Apr. t. 3, p. 697 to 719. 

Our diidne Redeemer was pleased to represent himself to us, both for a 
model to all who should exercise the pastoral charge in his church, and for 
the encouragement of sinners, under the figure of the good shepherd, who, 
having sought and found his lost sheep, with joy carried it back to the fold 
on his shoulders. The primitive Christians were so delighted with this em- 
blem of his tender love and mercy, that they engraved the figure of the 
good shepherd, loaded with the lost sheep on his shoulders, on the sacred 
chalices which they used for the holy mysteries or at mass, as we learn 
from Tertullian.' This figure is found frequently represented in the tombs 
of the primitive Christians in the ancient Christian cemeteries at Rome.^ 
All pastors of souls ought to have continually before their eyes this example 
of the good shepherd and prince of pastors. The aumusses, or furs, which 
most canons, both secular and regular, wear, are a remnant of the skins or 
furs worn by many primitive pastors for their garments. They wore them 
not only as badges of a penitential life, in imitation of those saints in the 
Old Law who wandered about in poverty, clad with skins, as St. Paul de- 
scribes them,^ and of St. Antony and many other primitive Christian ancho- 
rets, but chiefiy to put them in mind of their obligation of imitating the great 
pastor of souls in seeking the lost sheep, and carrying it back on his shoul- 
ders : also of putting on his meekness, humility, and obedience, represented 
under his adorable title of Lamb of God, and that of sheep devoted to be im- 
molated by death. Every Christian in conforming himself spiritually to this 
divine model, must study daily to die more and more to himself and to the 
world. In the disposition of his soul, he must also be ready to make the 
sacrifice of his life. 

1 Tertiil. dc Pudic. c. 7. 

2 See Bartoli, Le Antictie Lucerne Sepnlcrali figurate in Roma, an. 1729, n. 28, 29, and Phil. Buonarruoti, 
Osservn/.ioni sopra alcuni Franimenti di Vasi, pp. 1, 3, 28, 29, 30, 31. 

3 Hebr. xi. 37. 



[April 29. 



From his life by Guy, abbot of Molesme, his immediate successor, and other monuments collected in the 
History of Religious Orders, t. 5. p. 341. M. Stevens, Monas. t. 2. p. 22. See also he Nain, 1. 1, p. 1 ; 
Hist. Litt6r. de la France, 1. 10, pp. 1, 11 ; Gallia Christ. Nov. t. 4, pp. 729, 730. 

A. D. 1110. 

St. Robert was born in Champagne, about the year 1018. His parents, 
Theodoric and Ermegarde, were no less noble than virtuous, and brought 
him up in learning and piety. At the age of fifteen, he became a Benedic- 
tin monk in the abbey of Montier-la-celle, where he made such progress in 
perfection, that, though he was the youngest in that house, he was chosen 
prior, and some time after made abbot of St. Michael de Tonnerre. But 
not finding the monks of this place disposed to second his good intentions 
and labors to establish regular discipline among them, but rather of a refrac- 
tory temper and obstinate behavior, he left them on the following occasion. 
There dwelt at that time in a neighboring desert called Colan, certain an- 
chorets, who, not having any regular superior over them, besought him to 
undertake that office. After several impediments he complied with their 
request, and was received by them as another Moses to conduct them 
through the desert of this world to the heavenly Canaan. Colan being un- 
healthily situated, Robert removed them thence into the forest of Molesme, 
where they built themselves little cells made of boughs of trees, and a small 
oratory in honor of the Holy Trinity, in 1075. The poverty of those reli- 
gious, and the severity of their lives being knowii. several persons of quality 
in the neighborhood, stirred up by the example of^the bishop of Troyes, vied 
with one another in supplying them with necessaries, which introduced by 
degrees such a plenty as occasioned them to fall into great relaxation and 
tepidity,* insomuch, that the holy Robert, having tried in vain all means to 
reduce them to the regular observance of their profession, thought proper to 
leave them, and retired to a desert called Hauz, where certain religious men 
lived in great simplicity and fervor. Among these he worked for his sub- 
sistence, and employed as much of his time as possible in prayer and medi- 
tation. These religious men, seeing his edifying life, chose him for their 
abbot. But the monks of iMolesme, finding they had not prospered since 
his absence, obtained of the pope and the bishop of Langres an order for 
his return to Molesme, on their promising that Robert should find them per- 
fectly submissive to his directions. He accordingly came back. But as 
their desire of his return was only grounded on temporal views, it produced 
no change in their conduct after the first year. Some of them, however, 
seeing their lives were not conformable to St. Rennet's rule, which was 
daily read in their chapter, were desirous of a reformation, which the rest 
ridiculed. Yet the more zealous, seeing that it was impossible faithfully to 
comply with their duties in the company of those who would not be re- 
formed, recommended the matter to God by ardent prayers, and then re- 
paired to Robert, begging his leave to retire to some solitary place, where 
they might be able to perform what they had undertaken, and were engaged 

* Baillet and some others have retailed false exaggerations of the disorders which reigned among the 
ninnks of Molesme. Robert de Monte assures us they consisted only in this, that St. Robert would oblige 
them to manual labor for their subsistence, forbade them to receive oblations, and retrenched certain inno- 
vations in their habits: for which relaxations the monks alleged the examples of St. Columbian and St. 
Odo. See Hist. Litter, t. 10, p. 6. 

April 29.] 



by vow to practise.' St. Robert promised to bear them company, and went 
with six of the most fervent of these monks to Lyons, to the archbishop 
Hugh, legate of the holy see, who granted them letters patent to that effect ; 
wherein he not only advised, but even enjoined them to leave Molesme, and 
to persist in their holy resolution of living up to the rigor of the rule of St. 
Bennet. Returning to Molesme, they were joined by the rest that were 
zealous, and, being twenty-one in number, went and settled in a place called 
Cistercium, or Citeaux, an uninhabited forest covered with woods and bram- 
bles, watered by a little river, at five leagues distance from Dijon, in the di- 
ocese of Challons. Here these religious men began to grub up the shrubs 
and roots, and built themselves cells of wood, with the consent of Walter, 
bishop of Challons, and of Renaud, viscount of Beaune, lords of the terri- 
tory. They settled there on St. Rennet's day, the 21st of March, in 1098. 
From this epoch is dated the origin of the Cistercian order. The arch- 
bishop of Lyons, being persuaded that they could not subsist there without 
the assistance of some powerful persons, wrote in their favor to Eudo, duke 
of Burgundy. That prince, at his own cost, finished the building of the 
monastery they had begun, furnished them for a long time with all necessa- 
ries, and gave them much land and cattle. The bishop of Challons invested 
Robert with the dignity of abbot, erecting that new monastery into an ab- 
bey.* The first rule established by St. Robert, at Citeaux, allotted the 
monks four hours every night for sleep, and four for singing the divine prais- 

1 Martenne, Ampl. Collect, t. 6 ; Pra3rat. n. 40 ; Orderic Vitalis, 1. 7. 
Alibaliis Nornianniif, post Opera Guiberti, p. 3li. 

Hist. p. 711 ; Robert de Monte, 1. de 

* The Cistercian order professes to follow the Benedictin rule in Its primitive rigor. The habit used at 
Molesme was tawny. St. Alberic, who succeeded St. Robert at Citeaux, chaiijied it for white, and tho or- 
der took from that time the Blessed Virgin for its special protectress. The Cistercian nuns were instituted 
before the death of St. Alberic. Within fifty years after its institution, this order consisted of no less than 
five hundred abbeys ; which number was increased to eighteen hundred soon after the year 1200. The 
sole monastery of Trebnitz, in Silesia, reclions above forty princesses of Poland who have there professed 
this order. The noble military orders of Calatrava, Alcantara, and Montreza in Spain, and those of 
Christ, and of Avis in Portugal, are subject to it, and borrow from it their rules of piety. The primitive 
extreme austerity of the Cistercian order being relaxed, pope Sixtus IV., in J475, granted to the superiors 
power to dispense with the original obligation of abstinence from flesh. But several reformations have 
been since established in it to restore its ancient severity. That of the Feuillans in France, which took its 
name from Fenillens, a Cistercian abbey inGuienne, in the diocese of Rieux, (which is the chief of this re-^ 
formed congregation, and the residence of the general, whose office is triennial.) was begun by Dom. John 
de la Barriere, a native of duercy, and abbot of Notre Dame des Feuillans. While a student at Paris, he 
resolved to become a monk, and reform it. After many tears and prayers in the Carthusians' church at 
Paris, he went thither and took the habit in 1577; established a reform to use no food but roots and herbs, 
often not dressed by fire ; no raiment but a single tunic, even in winter, without sandals, sleeping and eat- 
ing on the ground. Clement VIII. in his bull of confirmation in 1595, mitigated these austerities ; but the 
founder himself observed them to his death. Dom. Bernard, called the Petit Feuillent, chosen abbot of 
Urvab, in the Low Countries, established great part of these austerities there. King Henry III. founded 
at Paris tlie second convent, called St. Bernard's, in 1601. Doctor Asseline, famous at Paris, thirty-two 
years old, in 1U05, took the habit, taking this motto, 

Omnia nil sine Te, sine Te, Deus, omnia vana : 
Cuncta relinquenti sis mihi cuncta Deus. 

which he often had in his mouth. He took the name of F. Eustache de S. Paul. (See his life in French.) 
This reformation extended itself into Italy, under the name of Reformed Bernardins. The most pious and 
learned cardinal John Bona, who died in 1074, was of this congregation. 

The most austere reformation of this order is established at La Trappe. Its author, John le Bouthillier 
de Ranc6, was of a noble and puissant family, who, having embraced an ecclesiastical state, was designed 
to succeed his uncle in the archbishopric of Tours. By his learning and eloquence he distinguished him- 
self among the French clergy, was their oracle on many important occasions, and their speaker in their 
general assemblies. He was chaplain to the duke of Orleans, and enjoyed several considerable pensions, 
and a large church revenue. But, at thirty years of age, entering seriously into himself, he thought it In- 
consistent with his profession to employ the revenues of the church in support of a splendid equipage and 
a great table, and to spend his precious time in company ami diversions. He addressed himself to those di- 
rectors who would the least flatter him ; and in order to make restitution for past superfluous expenses, 
he, by their advice, sold his paternal estate of thirty thousand livres, or between two and three thousand 
pounds sterling a year, and out of the purchase-money distributed a hundred thousand crowns among the 
poor, and gave the remainder to pious uses. He resigned three abbeys and two j)riories, which he possess- 
ed in coinmendam, and reserved only the abbey of our Lady of La Trappe, in which he took the Cistercian 
habit, commenced regular abbot, and, in 1664, introduced a reformation of that order according to the aus- 
tere primitive institute of St. Bennet, afterwards renewed by St. Bernard. His books on the obligations of 
a monastic state, cannot be too often read by those who profess it: nor his edifying life, written by Le 
Nain, which seems preferable to that published by Mai-sollier. He lived thirty-seven years in this rigorous 
solitude, and died in 1700. The monastery is situate in a forest in le Perche, near Normandy : it consisted. 
in 1746, of sixty lay-brothers and novices, and fifty-seven choir monks, of whom eighteen were priests, 



[April 29. 

es in the choir : four hours were assigned on working days for manual la- 
bor in the morning, after which the monks read till None : their diet was 
roots and herbs. ^ 

2 Mabil. Annal. 1. 1 ; Baching, in Vita Urbani II. 

three oblates or extern lay-brothers, who are allowed to speak upon necessary occasions. One of these 
opens the door to strangers, prostrates himself before them, and then leads them first to the chapel, and, 
alter a short prayer, into a parlor ; but desires them, while within the monastery, to refrain from spealiing 
of news or any worldly affairs : only the abbot, prior, or guest-master, are allowed to speak to them. The 
monks are never allowed to speak to visiters, nor to one another, otherwise than by signs, except it be to 
their superior or confessarius. They never write to their friends in the world after their profession, nor 
hear any thing relating thereto ; being content to know that there is a world, that they may pray for 
it. When the parent of any monk dies, the news is only sent to the superior, who tells the community 
that the father of one of them is dead, and orders their joint prayers for his soul. When a novice is about 
to make his profession, he writes to his friends to take his last leave of them, and makes a renunciation 
of whatever he possesses in favor of his heirs ; but gives some part to the poor, to be distributed in his 
own country, for nothing is received by the monastery, which, though its revenues are not large, main- 
tains a great multitude of distressed persons. The monks till their ground themselves. They usually keep 
their eyes cast down, and never look at strangers ; but make them a low bow if they pass by. When 
pope Innocent HI., returning from the emperor's court, called at St. Bernard's monastery, he took notice 
that not one of the monks lifted up his eyes to see him or his attendants ; so much were they dead to all 
curiosity, and to whatever could interrupt their attention to God ; which made that great pope call St. Ber- 
nard's monastery tlie wonder of the world. In like manner the recollection of the monks of La Trappe in 
the fields, at work, at meals, and particularly in the church, is a most moving spectacle. The more per- 
fectly to renounce their own will, they are bound to obey not only superiors, but the least sign of any 
other, even the last among the lay-brothers, though by it they spoil their work ; as it happened to one who, 
by obedience to another's sign, knowingly set wrong all the books of the church-music which he was com- 
posing. And abbot John told the brother who was gardener, it vi-ere better that they should be without 
herbs, than that there should be found in the garden one plant of self-will. Their drink is a weak cider, 
such as is used by the poorest people in Normandy: but small beer is allowed those with whom cider 
doth not agree. On fast-days they eat only dry herbs, boiled with a little salt, with a piece of coarse 
bread, and are allowed half a pint of cider. On other days they have an herb-soup, a dessert of a radish 
or two, or a lew walnuts, or some such thing, and a mess either of lentils, roots, hasty -pudding, or the like. 
They never eat fish on any account, and never toucli eggs or flesh-nicat, unless when very sick, but 
sometimes use milk. Once, the bread being made a little less coarse than ordinary, the abbot, .John de 
Ranc6, put the whole community under penance to atone for the fault of the baker. For supper they 
have only three, and on fast-days only two ounces of dry bread. They use long prostrations, and practise 
a general mortilication of their senses. Abbot de Ranee turned out a novice, as not having the spirit of 
the order, because he observed him in weeding to put by the nettles too carefully, for fear of being stung. 
When they come to the fire in winter, they stand at some distance from the calefactory, and never put out 
a loot, nor pull up their clothes to warm themselves, nor stay long in that place : even in their sicknesses 
the superior often treats them harshly, in order to increase their humility and patience; and the monks, 
under the greatest pains, reproach themselves as faint penitents, and add voluntary njortifications, of which 
W'e read very remarkable instances in the relations that have been ])ublished of the deatli of several of the 
religious of La Trap|)e. In their agonies they are carried to the church, laid on ashes, and there receive 
the last sacraments, and usually remain in that situation till they expire. But nothing is more edifying in 
this house than the most profound humility which the monks practise, and the care with whicli the guest- 
master or abbot suppresses whatever makes for their reputation, and even that of their house or order in 
general, that they may avoid the dangers of a refined pride. They work in the fields many hours in the 
day, but join prayer with their labor. Their church duties are very long ; and during the whole day no one 
is out of sight of some others, to take away all possibility of sloth. They lie on straw beds. The lightest 
faults are most severely punished in chapter. It happened that a venerable abbot of a very great monas- 
tery of the Cistercian order, full seventy years of age, being lodged at La Trappe, had by a sign, out of hu- 
mility, refused to sutler a lay-brother to take the trouble to show him the way to his cell at night; but 
this being contrary to the rule of the house, in relation to obedience to every one, the next day De Ranee, 
in chapter, reproached the abbot, that, not content to ruin discipline and souls at home, became to spread 
scandal among them : and enjoined him a public penance. How cheerful these holy penitents are amidst 
their austerities, appears from the visitations made by authority of the general, the abbot of Citeaux. In 
1678, the abbot of Prieres, being deputed visiter of La Trappe, declared that he found the religious, though 
some were persons of a very delicate and tender constitution, yet several above four-score years old, all well, 
cheerful, and begging th;it their austerities might be increased. In 1664, when many censured the institute 
as too severe, the abbot De Ranc(i assendded his religious, and commanded them to declare their sentiments 
concerning it. The fathers all unanimously cried (uit, that their mortifications were too light for heaven, 
and in consideration of their past sins ; ])rotesting that they underwent their austerities with joy, and were 
ashamed of their sloth, and that they did so little. When it was urged by a certain prelate, that at least 
the lay-brothers ought to be allowed some indulgence, the same abbot, in 1687, summoned them to chap- 
ter, and ordered them to speak their sentiments. Brother Male spoke first, and said : "Twenty years have 
I lived in this h<Hise, and I never found any thing in it but «-hat was easy and agreeable. I have always 
regarded myself as wax, to receive from your hands whatever figure you are pleased to mould me into: I 
consider myself as an untamed horse, if I am not held in by the bridle. If my state wants any alteration, 
it ought to be more restrained." Then, falling on his knees, he added, that he was as a handkerchief in 
his hand, which he might use in the manner he pleased. 2. B. Pachomins said, his life had been unprofit- 
able, and wished his rigors augmented ; and was ashamed to see many in the world undergo so much for 
vanity, while he did nothing for heaven. 3. B. Hilarion said, his :iusterities ought to be doubled, in or- 
der to subject his body to the spirit, lest he should lose his crown. 4. B. FJrmin begged on his knees, that, 
instead of any relaxation, his abbot would shut him up in a close pris(m. 5.' B. Francis prayed his auster- 
ities mii;ht be increased. The rest answered after the same manner. See abbot John's Conferences, 
t. 1, p. 287. 

Another famous reformation of the Cistercian order was established in the monastery of our Lady de 
Sept-Fons, two leagues from Bourtion-Lanci, in France, by the abbot Eustache de Beaufort, in the last cen- 
tury ; which no one can visit without receiving from the example of those holy men the strongest im- 
pressions of piety. The gardens are cultivated by the hands of the monks, and yield their principal subsist- 
ence, their ordinary food being herbs and pulse : but of these they are allowed at dinner two portions, 
whereas the monks of La Trajipe have only one, and that chiefly carrots, turnips, lentils, or the like : all 

April 29.] 



The year following, 1099, the monks of Molesme sent deputies to Rome, 
to solicit an order for their abbot St. Robert's return to Molesme, alleging 
that religious observance had suffered greatly by his absence ; and that on 
his presence both the prosperity of their house, and the security of their 
souls depended ; assuring his Holiness that they would use their best en- 
deavors to give him no further reason to complain of them. Urban II. there- 
fore wrote to the archbishop of Lyons, to procure St. Robert's return to 
Molesme, if it could be conveniently compassed. The legate sent his or- 
ders to that effect, and Robert immediately obeyed, remitting his pastoral 
staff for Citeaux to the bishop of Challons, who absolved him from the 
promise of obedience he had made him. He was installed anew by the 
bishop of Langres, abbot of Molesme, which he governed till his happy 
death, which happened not in 1100, as Manriquez imagined, but in 1110; 
for in that year he reconciled together two abbots, who had chosen him um- 
pire in a quarrel.^ The ancient chronicle of Molesme says that St. Rob- 
ert was born in 1018, and died in 1110: consequently he lived ninety- 
two or ninety-three years, and survived St. Alberic, who died in 1109. 
Upon proof of many miracles wrought at his tomb, pope Honorius III. en- 
rolled his name among the saints. Martenne has published the information 
of several of these miracles taken by an order of that pope.'' Mention is 
made of this his canonization by Manriquez,* the Younger Pagi,^ and Bene- 
dict XIV.' 

3 Mabill. Annal. 1. 71, n. 99. * Martenne, Anecdot 1. 1, p. 904. » Annal. Cisterc. ad an. 1222. 

6 Pagi Junior in Vita Honorii III. ex ejus ep. 132, 1. 6. " Bened. XIV. de Canoniz. 1. 1, c. 9, n. 9, p. 73. 

dainty herbs and roots being forbidden them, such as cauliflowers, peas, and artichokes ; the latter are not 
given even to the siclc in the infirmary. Again, at La Trappe, the moniss never taste wine, except the 
priests at mass, which atSept-Fons is used witli water at meals, in a small quantity, because the ordinary 
liquor in the Bourbonnois. At Sept-Fons the silence observed by the monks is perpetual, except with re- 
gard to superiors on necessary occasions, and in conferences of piety. Everything in the house and church 
is expressive of sentiments of humble poverty and simplicity. One hundred monks in choir seem to have 
but one voice, so great is the order of uniformity observed in singing every verse together. They make 
long pauses in the middle of each verse, that their minds and hearts may draw from each word a spiritual 
nourishment to feed their afiections. They are so intent upon their duty at that time, that no part of their 
body seems to have the least motion but their lips. They walk to the refectory and to their work with 
the most edifying modesty and recollection, with their eyes cast down ; and one is surprised to see the de- 
votion which appears in their very exterior throughout all their actions, and the vigor with which they 
ply manual labor in their extenuated and niortitied bodies. To be the more perfectly unknown to men, 
they do not suffer any thing of the eminent virtues which are practised in their house to be published. 
And the unfeigned humility, compunction, mortification, devotion, and other virtues of these holy peni- 
tents, strongly alfect those who behold them. See Hist, de la R6forme de I'Abbaye de Sept-Fons, par M. 
Drouet de Maupertuy, Paris, 1702. 

Some are startled and seemingly shocked at the extraordinary austerities practised by these monks, and 
by many ancient hermits. What ! say they, has the kind Author of nature given us organs, and an incli- 
nation to pleasure, yet commanded us to forego it! or does he delight in our pain ! These persons seem to 
be great strangers to what both faith and reason teach on this head. God has indeed annexed pleasure to 
many actions for necessary and good purposes ; and many lawful pleasures of our senses may be sancti- 
fied by a virtuous intention, liut ever since the corruption of our nature, and the levolt of our passions 
against reason, our appetites stand in need of a severe curb; and without frequent denials and restraints, 
self-will and the senses become headstrong and ungovernable, and-i'efuse subjection. God has appointed 
the mortification of the senses, joined with sincere humility, and the more essential interior denial of the 
will, to be the powerful remedy, and a necessary condition for obtaining his victorious graces against this 
enemy : and Christ frequently inculcates the obligation of it, and declares that no one can be his disciple 
who is not crucified and dead to himself, as the grain of corn must die in the ground before it can bring 
forth fruit. To deny the necessity of mortification, both exterior and interior, would be, on many accounts, 
to destroy the whole system of Christian morality. But the extraordinary austerities of certain eminent 
servants of God are not undertaken by them without a particular call, examined with maturity and pru- 
dence, and without a fervor equal to such a state. JMeither do they place sanctity in any practices of mor- 
tification, or measure virtue by them, as a Dervise or Brachman miglit do; but choose such as have the 
greatest tendency to facilitate the subjection of their passions, and regard them only as helps to virtue, 
and means to acquire it, and to punish sin in themselves. Nor do they imagine God to be delighted witli 
their pain, but with the cure of their spiritual maladies. A mother rejoices in the health of her child, 
not in the bitterness of the potion which she gives him to procure it. The doctrine of Christ, and the ex- 
amples of St. John the Baptist, St. Paul, St. Matthias, St. James, and the other apostles ; of many an- 
cient prophets, and other saints, from the first ages of our holy religion, are a standing apology and com- 
mendation of this spirit in so many servants of God. 

VOL. II. — 24 

186 s. FiACHNA, c. [April 29. 


He was a prince related to the sovereign house of the dukes of Burgundy, 
and had his education under the tuition of his pious mother, and under the 
care of Hugh, bishop of Auxerre, his great uncle. From his infancy he 
was exceedingly given to prayer and meditation, and his life was remarka- 
bly innocent and holy. The world he always looked upon as a tempestuous 
sea, worked up by the storms of human passions, and concealing rocks and 
shelves everywhere under its boisterous waves. In obedience to the will 
of his father, he learned the exercises of fencing and riding. But one day 
hearing an account of the wonderful sanctity of the monks of Cluni, under 
St. Odilo, he was so moved, that he set out that moment, and going thither, 
humbly begged the monastic habit. After a rigid novitiate, he made his 
profession in 1039, being sixteen years old. His extraordinary virtue, es- 
pecially his admirable humility, obedience, charity, sweetness, prudence, 
and zeal, gained him the respect of the whole community ; and, upon the 
death of St. Odilo, in 1049, though only twenty-five years old, he succeeded 
to the government of that great abbey, which he held sixty -two years. He 
received to the religious profession Hugh, duke of Burgundy, and died on 
the 29th of April, in 1109, aged eighty-five.* He was canonized twelve 
years after his death by pope Calixtus H. See his life written in the same 
age, by Hildebert, bishop of Mans, afterwards archbishop of Tours, among 
his works published by Dom. Beaugendre, in 1705, also in Papebroke, 29 
Apr. pp. 628 and 658. See likewise Ceillier, t. 21, p. 353 ; Mabil. 1. 71 ; 
Annal. Bened. and t. 9, Actor. 


Was a native of Desies, in Munster, a monk of Lismore, and disciple of 
St. Carthagh the younger, in 630. By the most perfect spirit of obedience 
he laid the foundation of a most sublime gift of prayer and all virtue. He 
is titular saint of the parish of Kill-Fiachna, in the diocese of Ardfert. See 
Engus in Chron. and Colgan, MSS. ad 29 Apr. 

* Several of the letters of St. Hugh of Cluni are extant. In one to William the Conqueror, who had 
offered him for his house one hundred pounds for every monk he would send into England, he answered 
that he would give that sum himself for every good monk he could procure for his monastery, if such a 
thing were to be purchased. The true reason of his refusal was, his fear of the monks he should send 
falling into relaxations by living in monasteries not reformed. He left many wise statutes for his monks, 
and others for the nuns of Marcigni, of whicli monastery he was the founder. See them published by 
Dom. Marrier and M. Duchesne, in theu: Bibliotheca Cluniacensis, p. 500. 

April 30.] 





From her life by Knymund of Capua, her confessor, afterwards general of the Dominicans ; also by Stephen, 
prior of the Carthusians, near Pavia, who had intimately known the saint, and from other contemporary 
authors. Likewise DivEe Catharinje Seiiensis Vita per Joan. Pinum, Tolosannm. Bononia^ 4to. 1.50.'5. See 
her history judiciously and elegantly compiled by F. Touron, t. 2, a writer justly extolled in the Journal 
de Scavants, and honored with great encomiums by pope Benedict XIV. Her life by her confessor, con- 
taining things omitted in other editions, is printed in Italian at Florence, in 1477, 4to., in a Gothic 
character; yet this is a translation from the Latin : also another printed at Sienna, in 1524, 4to. See 
also Papebroke's Remarks, Apr. t. 3, p. 851. 

A. D. 1380. 

St. Catharine was born at Sienna, in 1347. Her father, James Benin- 
casa, by trade a dyer, was a virtuous man ; and though blessed with tem- 
poral prosperity, always chiefly solicitous to leave to his children a solid in- 
heritance of virtue, by his example, and by deeply instilling into them les- 
sons of piety. Her mother, Lapa, had a particular affection for this daugh- 
ter above her other children ; and the accomplishments of mind and body 
with which she was adorned made her the darling and delight of all that 
knew her, and procured her the name of Euphrosyna. She was favored by 
God with extraordinary graces as soon as she was capable of knowing him. 
She withdrew very young to a solitude a little out of the town, to imitate the 
lives of the fathers of the desert. Returning after some time to her father's 
house, she continued to be guided by the same spirit. In her childhood she 
consecrated her virginity to God by a private vow. Her love of mortifica- 
tion and prayer, and her sentiments of virtue, were such as are not usually 
found in so tender an age. But God was pleased to put her resolution to a 
great trial. At twelve years of age, her parents thought of engaging her in 
a married state. Catharine found them deaf to her entreaties that she might 
live single ; and therefore redoubled her prayers, watching, and austerities, 
knowing her protection must be from God alone. Her parents, regarding 
her inclination to solitude as unsuitable to the life for which they designed 
her, endeavored to divert her from it, and began to thwart her devotions, de- 
priving her in this view of the httle chamber or cell they had till then al- 
lowed her. They loaded her with the most distracting employments, and 
laid on her all the drudgery of the house, as if she had been a person hired 
into the family for that purpose. The hardest labor, humiliations, contempt, 
and the insults of her sisters, were to the saint a subject of joy ; and such 
was her ardent love of crosses, that she embraced them in all shapes with 
a holy eagerness, and received all railleries with an admirable sweetness 
and heroic patience. If any thing grieved her, it was the loss of her dear 
solitude. But the Holy Ghost, that interior faithful master, to whom she 
listened, taught her to make herself another solitude in her heart; where, 
amidst all her occupations, she considered herself always as alone with 
God ; to whose presence she kept herself no less attentive than if she had 
no exterior employment to distract her. In that admirable Treatise of God's 
Providence, which she wrote, she saith, " That our Lord had taught her to 
build in her soul a private closet, strongly vaulted with the divine provi- 
dence, and to keep herself always close and retired there ; he assured her 
that by this means she should find peace and perpetual repose in her soul, 
which no storm or tribulation could disturb or interrupt." Her sisters and 

- -Jl 

188 S. CATHARINE, V. [APRIL 30. 

Other friends persuaded her to join with them in the diversions of the world, 
alleging, that virtue is not an enemy to neatness in dress, or to cheerfulness ; 
under which soft names they endeavored to recommend the dangerous liber- 
ties of worldly pastimes and vanities. Catharine was accordingly prevailed 
upon by her sister to dress in a manner something more genteel ; but she 
soon repented of her compliance, and wept for it during the remainder of 
her life, as the greatest inftdelity she had ever been guilty of to her heavenly 
spouse. The death of her eldest sister, Bonaventura, soon after confirmed 
her in those sentiments. Her father, edified at her patience and virtue, at 
length approved and seconded her devotion, and all her pious desires. She 
liberally assisted the poor, served the sick, and comforted the afflicted and 
prisoners. Her chief subsistence was on boiled herbs, without either sauce 
or bread, which last she seldom tasted. She wore a very rough hair-cloth, 
and a large iron girdle armed with sharp points, lay on the ground, and 
watched much. Humility, obedience, and a denial of her own will, even in 
her penitential austerities, gave them their true value. She began this 
course of life when under fifteen years of age. She was moreover visited 
with many painful distempers, which she underwent with incredible pa- 
tience ; she had also suffered much from the use of hot baths prescribed her 
by physicians. Amidst her pains, it was her constant prayer that they 
might serve for the expiation of her offences, and the purifying her heart. 
She long desired, and in 1365, the eighteenth year of her age, (but two 
years later, according to some writers,) she received the habit of the third 
order of St. Dominic, in a nunnery contiguous to the Dominicans' convent. 
From that time her cell became her paradise, prayer her element, and her 
mortifications had no longer any restraint. For three years she never spoke 
to any one but to God and her confessor. Her days and nights were em- 
ployed in the delightful exercises of contemplation : the fruits whereof were 
supernatural lights, a most ardent love of God, and zeal for the conversion 
of sinners. The old serpent, seeing her angelical life, set all his engines at 
work to assault her virtue. He first filled her imagination with the most 
filthy representations, and assailed her heart with the basest and most hum- 
bling temptations. Afterwards, he spread in her soul such a cloud and dark- 
ness that it was the severest trial imaginable. She saw herself a hundred 
times on the brink of the precipice, but was always supported by an invisi- 
ble hand. Her arms were fervent prayer, humility, resignation, and confi- 
dence in God. By these she persevered victorious, and was at last deliver- 
ed from those trials which had only served to purify her heart. Our Sa- 
viour visiting her after this bitter conflict, she said to him : " Where wast 
thou, ray divine Spouse, while I lay in such an abandoned, frightful condi- 
tion." "I was with thee," he seemed to reply. "What!" said she, "amidst 
the filthy abominations with which my soul was infested !" He answered : 
" They were displeasing and most painful to thee. This conflict therefore 
was thy merit, and the victory over them was owing to my presence." Her 
ghostly enemy also solicited her to pride, omitting neither violence nor 
stratagem to seduce her into this vice ; but invincible humility was a buckler 
to cover her from all his fiery darts. God recompensed her charity to the 
poor by many miracles, often multiplying provisions in her hands, and en- 
abling her to carry loads of corn, oil, and other necessaries to the poor, 
which her natural strength could not otherwise have borne. The greatest 
miracle seemed her patience in bearing the murmurs, and even the reproach- 
es, of these ungrateful and importunate people. Catharine dressed, and 
served an old woman named Tocca, infected to that degree with a leprosy, 
that the magistrates had ordered her to be removed out of the city, and sepa- 
rated from all others. This poor wretch nevertheless made no other return 

April 30.] s. Catharine, v. 189 

to the tender charity of the saint, but continual bitter complaints and re- 
proaches ; which, instead of wearying out her constancy, only moved the 
saint to show her still greater marks of sweetness and humility. Another, 
whose infectious cancer the saint for a long time sucked and dressed, pub- 
lished against her the most infamous calumnies ; in which she was second- 
ed by a sister of the convent. Catharine bore in silence the violent perse- 
cution they brought upon her, and continued her affectionate services till, by 
her patience and prayers, she had obtained of God the conversion of both 
these enemies, which was followed by a retraction of their slanders. 

The ardent charity of this holy virgin made her indefatigable in laboring 
for the conversion of sinners, offering for that end continual tears, prayers, 
fasts, and other austerities, and thinking nothing difficult or above her 
strength. All her discourses, actions, and her very silence, powerfully indu- 
ced men to the love of virtue, so that no one, according to pope Pius II., ever 
approached her who went not away better. Nannes, a powerful turbulent 
citizen, being brought to our saint to be reclaimed, all she could say to him 
to bring him to a right sense of his duty was of no effect ; upon which she 
made a sudden pause in her discourse, to offer up her prayers for him : they 
were heard that very instant, and an entire change was wrought in the man, 
to which his tears and other tokens bore evidence. He accordingly recon- 
ciled himself to all his enemies, and embraced a most penitential life. 
When he afterwards fell into many temporal calamities, the saint rejoiced at 
his spiritual advantage under them, saying, God purged his heart from the 
poison with which it was infected by its inveterate attachment to creatures. 
Nannes gave to the saint a stately house which he possessed within two 
miles of the city. This, by the pope's authority, she converted into a nun- 
nery. We omit the miraculous conversion of James Tholomei and his sis- 
ters, of Nicholas Tuldo, and many others ; particularly of two famous as- 
sassins going to die with blasphemies in their mouths, and in transports of 
rage and despair, who were suddenly converted in their last moments, on 
the saint's praying for them, confessed their crimes to a priest with great 
signs of repentance, and appeared thoroughly resigned to the punishment 
about to be inflicted on them. A pestilence laying waste the country in 
1374, Catharine devoted herself to serve the infected, and obtained of God 
the cure of several ; amongst others, of two holy Dominicans, Raymund of 
Capua, and Bartholomew of Sienna. The most hardened sinners could not 
withstand the force of her exhortations to a change of life. Thousands 
flocked from places at a distance in the country to hear or only to see her, 
and were brought over by her words or example to the true dispositions of 
sincere repentance. She undertook a journey to Monte Pulciano to conse- 
crate to God two of her nieces, who there took the religious veil of Saint 
Dominic : and another journey to Pisa, by order of her superiors, at the 
earnest suit of the citizens. She there restored health to many in body, 
but to a far greater number in soul. Raymund of Capua and two other 
Dominicans were commissioned by pope Gregory XL, then residing at 
Avignon, to hear the confessions at Sienna, of those who were induced by 
the saint to enter upon a change of life ; these priests were occupied, day 
and night, in hearing the confessions of many who had never confessed be- 
fore ; besides those of others who had acquitted themselves but superficially 
of that duty. While she was at Pisa, in 1375, the people of Florence and 
Perugia, with a great part of Tuscany, and even of the Ecclesiastical State, 
entered into a league against the holy see. The news of this disturbance 
was delivered to Catharine by Raymund of Capua, and her heart was 
pierced with the most bitter sorrow on account of those evils, which she 
had foretold three years before they came to their height. The two furious 

190 S. CATHARINE, V, [ApRIL 30. 

factions of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, who had so disturbed and divided 
the state of Florence, then a powerful commonwealth, united at last against 
the pope, to strip the holy see of the lands it possessed in Italy. The dis- 
turbance was begun in June, 1373, and a numerous army was set on foot : 
the word Libertas, written on the banner of the league, was the signal. Pe- 
rugia, Bologna, Viterbo, Ancona, and other strongholds, soon declared for 
them. The inhabitants of Arezzo, Lucca, Sienna, and other places, were 
kept within the bounds of duty by the prayers, letters, and exhortations of 
St. Catharine, and generously contemned the threats of the Florentines. 
Pope Gregory XL, residing at Avignon, wrote to the city of Florence, but 
without success. He therefore sent the cardinal Robert of Geneva, his le- 
gate, with an army, and laid the diocese of Florence under an interdict. 
Internal divisions, murders, and all other domestic miseries amongst the 
Florentines, joined with the conspiracy of the neighboring states, concurred 
to open their eyes, and made them sue for pardon. The magistrates sent 
to Sienna to beg St. Catharine would become their mediatrix. She could 
not resist their pressing entreaties. Before she arrived at Florence, she 
was met by the priors or chiefs of the magistrates ; and the city left the 
management of the whole affair to her discretion, with a promise that she 
should be followed to Avignon by their ambassadors, who should sign and 
ratify the conditions of reconciliation between the parties at variance, and 
confirm every thing she had done. The saint arrived at Avignon on 
the 18th of June, 1376, and was received by the pope and cardinals with 
great marks of distinction. His holiness, after a conference with her, in 
admiration of her prudence and sanctity, said to her : " I desire nothing but 
peace. I put the affair entirely into your hands ; only I recommend to you 
the honor of the church." But the Florentines sought not peace sincerely, 
and they continued to carry on secret intrigues to draw all Italy from its 
obedience to the holy see. Their ambassadors arrived very late at Avi- 
gnon, and spoke with so great insolence, that they showed peace was far 
from being the subject of their errand. God suffered the conclusion of this 
work to be deferred in punishment of the sins of the Florentines, by which 
means St. Catharine sanctified herself still m-ore by suflering longer amidst 
a seditious people. 

The saint had another point no less at heart in her journey to Avignon. 
Pope John XXIL, a Frenchman, born at Cahors, bishop, first of Frejus, then 
of Avignon, lastly of Porto, being made pope in 1314, fixed his residence 
at Avignon, where John's successors, Benedict XIL, Clement YL, Innocent 
VL, and Urban V., also resided. The then pope Gregory XL, elected in 
1370, continued also there. The Romans complained that their bishops 
had for seventy-four years past forsaken their church, and threatened a 
schism. Gregory XL had made a secret vow to return to Rome ; but 
not finding this design agreeable to his court, he consulted the holy vir- 
gin on this subject, who answered : " Fulfil what you have promised to God." 
The pope, surprised she should know by revelation what he had never dis- 
covered to any person on earth, was immediately determined to carry his 
good design into execution. The saint soon after left Avignon. We have 
several letters written by her to him, to press him to hasten his return ; and 
he shortly after followed her, leaving Avignon on the 13th of September, in 
1376. He overtook the saint at Genoa, where she made a short stay. At 
Sienna, she continued her former way of life, serving and often curing the 
sick, converting the most obstinate sinners, and reconciling the most inveter- 
ate enemies, more still by her prayers than by her words. Such was her 
knowledge of heavenly things, that certain Italian doctors, out of envy, and 
with the intent to expose her ignorance, being come to hold a conference 

April 30.] 



with her, departed in confusion and admiration at her interior lights. The 
same had happened at Avignon, some time before, where three prelates, en- 
vying her credit with the pope, put to her the most intricate questions on an 
interior life, and many other subjects ; but admiring her answers to all 
their difficulties, confessed to the pope they had never seen a soul so enlight- 
ened, and so profoundly humble as Catharine. She had many disciples : 
among others, Stephen, son of Conrad, a senator of Sienna. This noble- 
man was reduced by enemies to the last extremity. Seeing himself on the 
brink of ruin, he addressed himself to the saint, who, having first made a 
thorough convert of him from the world and its vanities, by her prayers mi- 
raculously, on a sudden, pacified all his persecutors, and calmed their fury. 
Stephen, from that time, looked upon as dust all that he had formerly most 
passionately loved and pursued ; and he testified of himself, that by her 
presence, and much more by her zealous discourses, he always found the 
divine love vehemently kindled in his breast, and his contempt of all earthly 
things increased. He became the most fervent among her disciples, made 
a collection of all her words as oracles, would be her secretary to write her 
letters, and her companion in her journeys to Avignon, Florence, and Rome ; 
and at length, by her advice, professed himself a Carthusian monk. He 
assisted at her death, and wrote her life at the request of several princes ; 
having been witness of her great miracles and virtues, and having experi- 
enced often in himself her spirit of prophecy, her knowledge of the con- 
sciences of others, and her extraordinary light in spiritual things. 

St. Catharine wrote to pope Gregory XL, at Rome, strongly exhorting him 
to contribute by all means possible to the general peace of Italy. His holi- 
ness commissioned her to go to Florence, still divided and obstinate in its 
disobedience. She lived some time in that factious place, amidst daily mur- 
ders and confiscations, in frequent dangers of her own life many ways ; in 
which she always showed herself most undaunted, even when swords were 
drawn against her. At length she overcame that obstinate people, and 
brought them to submission, obedience, and peace, though not under Greg- 
ory XL, as Baillet mistakes, but his successor, Urban VL, as her contemporary 
historian informs us. This memorable reconciliation was effected in 1378 ; af- 
ter which Catharine hastened to her solitary abode at Sienna, where her oc- 
cupation, and, we may say, her very nourishment, was holy prayer : in which 
intercourse with the Almighty, he discovered to her very wonderful mysteries, 
and bestowed on her a spirit which delivered the truths of salvation in a man- 
ner that astonished her hearers. Some of her discourses were collected, 
and compose the treatise On Providence, under her name. Her whole life 
seemed one continual miracle ; but what the servants of God admired most 
in her, was the perpetual strict union of her soul with God. For, though 
obliged often to converse with different persons on so many different affairs, 
and transact business of the greatest moment, she was always occupied on 
God, and absorbed in him. For many years she had accustomed herself to 
so rigorous an abstinence, that the blessed eucharist might be said to be al- 
most the only nourishment which supported her. Once she fasted from Ash- 
Wednesday till Ascension-day, receiving only the blessed eucharist during 
that whole time. Many treated her as a hypocrite, and invented all manner 
of calumnies against her ; but she rejoiced at humiliations, and gloried in the 
cross of Christ as much as she dreaded and abhorred praise and applause. 
In a vision, our Saviour is said one day to have presented her with two 
crowns, one of gold and the other of thorns, bidding her choose which of 
the two she pleased. She answered : " I desire, Lord, to live here al- 
ways conformed to your passion, and to find pain and suffering my repose 
and delight." Then eagerly taking up the crown of thorns, she forcibly 

192 S. CATHARINE, V. [ApRIL 30, 

pressed it upon her head. The earnest desire and love of humiliations 
and crosses was nourished in her soul by assiduous meditation on the suffer- 
ings of our divine Redeemer. What, above all things, pierced her heart was 
scandal, chiefly that of the unhappy great schism which followed the death 
of Gregory XI. in 1378, when Urban VI. was chosen at Rome, and acknow- 
ledged there by all the cardinals, though his election was in the beginning 
overawed by the Roman people, who demanded an Italian pope. Urban's 
harsh and austere temper alienated from hini the affections of the cardinals, 
several of whom withdrew ; and having declared the late election null, chose 
Clement VII., with whom they retired out of Italy, and resided at Avignon. 
Our saint, not content to spend herself in floods of tears, weeping before God 
for these evils of his church, wrote the strongest and most pathetic letters to 
those cardinals who had first acknowledged Urban, and afterwards elected 
another ; pressing them to return to their lawful pastor, and acknowledge 
Urban's title. She wrote also to several countries and princes in his favor, 
and to Urban himself, exhorting him to bear up cheerfully under the troubles 
he found himself involved in, and to abate somewhat of a temper that had 
made him so many enemies, and mollify that rigidness of disposition which 
had driven the world from him, and still kept a very considerable part of 
Christendom from acknowledging him. The pope listened to her, sent for 
her to Rome, followed her directions, and designed to send her, with St. 
Catharine of Sweden, to Joan, queen of Sicily, who had sided with Clement. 
Our saint grieved to see this occasion of martyrdom snatched from her, when 
the journey was laid aside on account of the dangers that were foreseen to 
attend it. She wrote however to queen Joan : likewise two letters full of 
holy fire to the king of France, also to the king of Hungary, and others, to 
exhort them to renounce the schism. 

We pass over the ecstasies and other wonderful favors this virgin receiv- 
ed from heaven, and the innumerable miracles God wrought by her means. 
She has left us, besides the example of her life, six Treatises in form of a 
dialogue, a Discourse on the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, and three 
hundred and sixty-four Letters, which show that she had a superior genius, 
and wrote perfectly well. While she was laboring to extend the obedience 
of the true pope, Urban VI., her infirmities and pains increasing, she died at 
Rome on the 29th of April, in 1380, being thirty-three years old. She was 
buried in the church of the Minerva, where her body is still kept under an 
altar. Her skull is in the Dominicans' church at Sienna, in which city are 
shown her house, her instruments of penance, and other relics. She was 
canonized by pope Pius H. in 1461. Urban VIII. transferred her festival 
to the 30th of this month. 

When we read the lives of the saints, and consider the wonderful graces 
with which God enriched them, we admire their happiness in being so highly 
favored by him, and say to ourselves that their labors and sufferings bore no 
proportion lo the sweetness of heavenly peace and love Avith which their 
souls were replenished, and the spiritual joy and consolations which were a 
present superabundant recompense and support. But it was in the victory 
over their passions, in the fervor of their charity, and in the perfection of 
their humility, patience, and meekness, that their virtue and their happiness 
chiefly consisted. Nor are we to imagine that God raised them to these 
sublime graces without their assiduous application to the practice both of 
exterior and interior mortification, especially of the latter. Self-denial pre- 
pared them for this state of perfect virtue, and supported them in it. What 
pity is it to hear persons talk of sublime virtue, and to see them pretend to 
aspire after it, without having studied in earnest to die to themselves. With- 

April 30.] 



out this condition, all their fine discourses are mere speculation, and their 
endeavors fruitless. 


From his original acts in Surius, Baronius, Henschenius, Ruinart, Fleury, Tillemont, &c. 

A. D. 251. 

Maximus was an inhabitant of Asia, and a merchant by profession. De- 
cius having formed an impious but vain design of extirpating the Christian 
religion, published edicts over the whole empire to enforce idolatry, com- 
manding all to adore idols. Maximus having openly declared himself a 
Christian, he was immediately apprehended and brought before Optimus, 
the proconsul of Asia, who, after asking him his name, inquired also after 
his condition. He replied : " I am born free, but am the slave of Jesus 
Christ." Proconsul. " What is your profession ?" Maximus. " I am a 
plebeian, and live by my dealings." Proconsul. " Are you a Christian ?" 
Maximus. " Yes, I am, though a sinner." Proconsul. " Have not you 
been informed of the edicts that are lately arrived ?" Maximus. " What 
edicts, and what are their contents?" Proconsul. "That all the Christians 
forsake their superstition, acknowledge the true prince whom all obey, and 
adore his gods." Maximus. " I have been told of that impious edict, and 
it is the occasion of ray appearing abroad." Proconsul. " As then you 
are apprized of the edicts, sacrifice to the gods." Maximus. " I sacrifice 
to none but that God to whom alone I have sacrificed from my youth, the 
remembrance of which affords me great comfort." Proconsul. "Sacrifice, 
as you value your life: if you refuse to obey, you shall expire in torments." 
Maximus. " This has ever been the object of my desires : it was on this 
very account that I appeared in public, to have an opportunity offered me 
of being speedily delivered out of this miserable life, to possess that which 
is eternal." Then the proconsul commanded him to be bastinadoed, and in 
the mean time said to him, " Sacrifice, Maximus, and thou shalt be no longer 
tormented." Maximus. " Sufferings for the name of Christ are not torments, 
but comfortable unctions :* but if I depart from his precepts contained in the 
gospel, then real and eternal torments would be my portion." The procon- 
sul then ordered him to be stretched on the rack, and while he was tortured, 
said to him, "Renounce, wretch, thy obstinate folly, and sacrifice to save thy 
life." Maximus. " I shall save it if I do not sacrifice ; I shall lose it if I 
do. Neither your clubs, nor your iron hooks, nor your fire, give me any pain, 
because the grace of Jesus Christ dwelleth in me, which will deliver me out 
of your hands to put me in possession of the happiness of the saints, who 
have already, in this same conflict, triumphed over your cruelty. j It is by 
their prayers I obtain this courage and strength which you see in me." The 
proconsul then pronounced this sentence on him : " I command that Maxi- 
mus, for refusing to obey the sacred edicts, be stoned to death, to serve for 
an example of terror to all Christians." Saint Maximus was immediately 
seized by the executioners and carried without the city walls, where they 
stoned him on the 14th of May. Thus his acts. The Greeks honor him 
on the day of his death: the Roman Martyrology on the 30th of April. He 
suffered in 250 or 251. 

* HsEC non sunt tormenta, sed sunt iinctiones. 

t Omnium sanctorum orationibus qui in liac colluctatione certantes, vestras supeiaverunt insanias, no- 
bisque virtutum exempla reliquerunt. Ruin. p. 145. 

VOL, II. 25 

194 SS. JAMES, ETC., MM. [ApRIL 30. 


She suffered for the faith in the third age, at Firmo, in Italy, where her 
festival is kept on the 30th of April with great devotion. Her head is 
shown in a rich case in the cathedral. See Ughelli, (in Episc. Firraanis,) 
who places her martyrdom under Decius : also Ferrarius, in Catal. Sanctor. 
Ital. and the Roman Martyrology. 



From their authentic acts, written by a bishop, their companion, and commended by St. Austin, Serm. 284, 

t. 5, p. 1140. 

A. D. 259. 

The persecution of Valerian raged nowhere with so much cruelty as in 
Numidia, in 259. At Lambesa, the greatest city of the province, next to 
Cirtha, great numbers, both of the laity and clergy, suffered martyrdom. 
St. James was a deacon of that place, and remarkable for his singular chas- 
tity and austerity of life. St. Marian was only reader, but endued with a 
particular eminence of grace. He had an excellent mother, called Mary, as 
we learn from St. Austin. They were companions, and probably relations, 
and came from some remote province of Africa into Numidia. James re- 
ceived on the road a vision, that gave them previous notice of their martyr- 
dom. They arrived at a place called Muguas, near Cirtha, the capital, where 
the persecution was very violent. Two bishops, named Agapius and Secun- 
dinus, who had been banished for their faith, Avere at the same time brought 
thither, from the place of their exile, to stand a second trial for their lives. 
This was a new and unprecedented injustice, practised only against Chris- 
tians, for persons already condemned to banishment to be again tried and 
condemned to death. As they were detained here for some days, James 
and Marian enjoyed their conversation, which excited them to an eager de- 
sire of martyrdom : insomuch that, when the two bishops left Muguas to 
continue their journey, James and Marian were fully determined to follow 
them. Two days after their departure, pursuivants arrived at Muguas, which 
was looked upon as the retreat of Christians, and by an order from the gov- 
ernor, apprehended James and Marian, and conducted them to Cirtha, to- 
gether with a bishop, the author of the acts of their martyrdom, and pre- 
sented them to the city magistrates, who put them to the most cruel tortures. 
James confessed boldly that he was not only a Christian, but also a deacon ; 
though the law of Valerian, in 258, condemned to death, without hopes of 
pardon, even though they should deny their faith, all deacons, priests, and 
bishops. They were both put to the torture ; and Marian in particular was 
hung up, not by the hands, which was the usual method of torture, but by 
his thumbs, which was far more painful, weights being also hung to his feet. 
Amidst his torments, the more his body suffered, the more was his soul 
strengthened by God. The martyrs having undergone the torture as long 
as the persecutors thought proper, were sent to prison, with several other 
Christians. Some were daily called out of this blessed company and 
crowned with martyrdom ; and among others, the two holy bishops, Aga- 
pius and Secundinus, honored on the 29th of April. The survivors passed 
some time in the darkness and horror of the dungeons of Cirtha, tormented 

April 30.] 




also with hunger ; but the word of God, say the acts, was a spiritual food 
that supported them. God was pleased, moreover, to comfort them in their 
prison, by a vision vouchsafed to Marian, to whom St. Cyprian appeared sit- 
ting at the right hand of a great judge, who was Christ, and presenting Ma- 
rian to drink of a fountain of which that holy bishop had first drunk himself ; 
giving Marian thereby to understand that he was also to suffer martyrdom. 
God gave an assurance of the same favor to this whole company of prison- 
ers, by a second vision, with which he favored another of these confessors, 
called Emilian, of the Equestrian Order, near fifty years old, who had lived 
till that age in strict continency. His occupation in prison was chiefly 
prayer. He fasted much, and often abstained from food by choice for two 
days successively. He acquainted this blessed company with what he had 
also seen in his vision ; namely, that his heathen brother asked him how 
they liked the dark dungeons and hunger. He answered, that the word of 
God served both for light and nourishment to the soldiers of Jesus Christ. 
His brother said : " You know that as many of you as continue obstinate 
can expect nothing but death. But do you all hope for equal rewards 1" 
Emilian* said : " Lift up your eyes to heaven : have all the stars you see 
there the same lustre 1 Don't they differ in brightness, though they have 
all the same light ? Those in like manner who shall have suffered most, 
and have had the greatest difficulties to struggle with, shall receive the most 
glorious crown." All these visions contributed not a little to keep up the 
spirits of the Christian prisoners. The magistrates of Cirtha, seeing the 
confessors invincible, sent James, Marian, and a great part of the prisoners 
to Lambesa, to the governor of the province. They suffered much on the 
way, it being twenty-four miles distant from Cirtha, and the roads very rough. 
They were lodged in the dungeons of Lambesa, and every day some were 
called out to martyrdom ; the laity first, whom the pagans hoped more easily 
to vanquish. Among them a woman and her two little children, twins, were 
martyred on the 2d or 3d of May. Also TertuUa and Antonia, two holy vir- 
gins, whom St. Agapius had a singular regard for. He prayed long in prison 
that they might not be deprived of the glory of shedding their blood for 
Christ, and at length received from heaven this answer : " You need not ask 
by so many prayers what you have obtained by the first." St. James and 
the other clergy were grieved to see their victory retarded ; but it was not 
long before he saw in his sleep the bishop Agapius preparing a great feast, 
and expressing much joy, and cheerfully inviting him and Marian to it, as to 
one of the ancient Agapse, or love-feasts. Here they met an infant who was 
one of the twins that had suffered with their mother three days before. He 
had round his neck a crown of roses, and a very green palm in his right 
hand ; and he bade them rejoice, for they should all sup together the day 
following, the same on which James, Marian, and several others of the clergy 
were condemned to die. They were accordingly brought to the place of 
execution, which was a valley, through which ran the river Pagydus, with 
hills on each side convenient for the spectators. The martyrs were placed 
in rows on the banks of the river, that the executioner might pass conve- 
niently from one to the other in cutting off their heads. While they had 
their eyes bound, they had most of them some token given them by God of 
their approaching felicity. Marian also foretold the wars, and other evils 
which threatened the empire in revenge of the innocent blood of the just. 
This was verified, — the persecuting emperor Valerian being taken and most 
barbarously treated by the Persians, in 260; not to mention the thirty tyrants, 
a dreadful pestilence, and' other calamities which afflicted the empire. 
Mary, the mother of this blessed martyr, like the mother of the Maccabees, 

* This St. Emilian occurs in the Martyrologies on the 29th of April. 

196 S. ERKONWALD, B, C. [ApRIL 30. 

says St. Austin, followed her son to the place of execution to encourage him : 
on seeing him dead, she embraced his corpse, and oftentimes kissed his neck, 
and blessed God for having made her the mother of such a son. Their tri- 
umph happened in 259, or 260, probably on the 6th of May, on which the 
ancient calendar of Carthage, drawn up in the close of the fifth century, 
mentions them. The other Latins honor them on the 30th of April. SS. 
James and Marian are patrons of Eugubio, fii the duchy of Urbino, the an- 
cient Umbria, and their bodies are said to be kept in the cathedral there. 
The names of these martyrs are consecrated in the Roman Martyrology. 


He was a prince of the royal blood, son of Annas, the holy king of the 
East-x\ngles, or, as some say, of a certain prince named Offa. The better 
to disengage himself from the ties and encumbrances of the world, he for- 
sook his own country, and retired into the kingdom of the East-Saxons, 
where he employed his large estate in founding two great monasteries, one 
at Chertsey, in Surrey, near the Thames,* the other for nuns, at Barking, 
in Essex;! of this latter he appointed his sister, Edilburga, abbess. The 
former he governed with great sanctity, till he was forced out of his dear 
solitude by king Sebba, in 675, and consecrated bishop of London by St. 
Theodorus. He much augmented the buildings and revenues of St. Paul's, 
and obtained for that church great privileges from the king. Dugdale, in his 
history of that cathedral, proves that it had originally been a temple of 
Diana, from many heads of oxen dug up when the east part of it was rebuilt, 
and from the structure of the chambers of Diana, near that place. Bede 
bears witness that God honored St. Erkonwald with a great gift of miracles, 
and that his horse-litter, or chips cut off from it, cured distempers to his 
own time : and his sanctity has been most renowned through all succeeding 
ages. He sat eleven years, according to his old epitaph, which Mr. Weever 
has preserved.' His tomb, in the cathedral of St. Paul's, was famous for 
frequent miracles, as is mentioned by Bede, Malmesbury, &c. His body 
was removed from the middle of the church, by a solemn translation, on the 
14th of November, in 1148,^ and deposited above the high altar, on the east 
wall. Dugdale^ describes the riches and numerous oblations which adorned 
his shrine, and laments* that they had lately seen the destruction of this 
magnificent church, which was the glory of our nation ; the monuments of 
so many famous men torn to pieces, and their bones and dust pulled out of 
their graves. In which barbarous search the body of the holy king Sebba 
was found embalmed with perfumes, and clothed with rich robes : also sev- 
eral bishops in their proper habits. But, says that diligent author, I could 
never hear that they found more than a ring or two with rubies, and a chal- 
ice of no great value. He adds : Under part of the choir was the subterra- 

1 Funeral monuments. 

2 See Hearne, note on Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle, t. 2, p. 467. ■ . 

3 History of tlie cathedral of St. Paul's, pp. 32, 23, 24. 

4 lb. p. 51. 

* Chertsey (anciently Ceortesei) monastery was founded by St. Erkonwald, abnut the year 066. The 
abbot and ninety monks being killed, and the abbey burnt to tlie ground, during the Danish wars, it was 
refounded by king Edt'ar and bishop Ethelwold, to the honor of Si. Peter. At the di-ssolution, it was val- 
ued, according to Speed, at 744/. 13s. id. per ann. See Monast. Anglic, t. 1, p. 75, and bishop Tanner, 
Notit. Monastica, p. 534. 

t Barkins; nunnery was founded by the same saint, in 67.5, or. Recording to the Chertsey-book, in 6G6; 
but was not the first nunnery in England, as Weever, Dugdale, (in "VVarwicks. p. 1107,) a^id Newcourt as- 
sert; for that of Folkestone in Kent was founded in 630 by Eadbald, king of Kent, and his daughter, St. 
Eanswithe, was made first abbess, as bishop Tanner takes notice. Barking nunnery was valued at the 
dissolution at 1084/. per annum, which would be now eight times as much. Those authors are nnstaken, 
who call Barking the richest nunnery in England, those of Sion and Shaftsbury being much richer. 

April 30.] 



neous parish, church of St. Faith, called S. Fides in Cryptis. At the change 
of religion, the body of St. Erkonwald disappeared, in 1533, says Weever.* 
F. Jerom Porter, in his lives of the English saints, testifies, that it was then 
buried at the upper end of the choir, near the wall. No mention is made 
of it in any accounts since the new fabric was erected. See Wharton, Hist. 
Episcoporum Londin. p. 16, and Maitland, Hist, of London, b. 2, p. 486; 
also the notes of Papebroke upon the life of St. Erkonwald in Capgrave, 
Apr. t. 3, p. 780, and Leland, Collect, t. 1, pp. 22 and 23. 



He was a Norman gentleman, who, upon motives of holy zeal and piety, 
followed the Christian standards in the holy war in the East. Being taken 
by the Saracens, he suffered great hardships and torments, nothing being- 
able to shake his constancy in the confession of his faith, and in the exer- 
cises of his religious duties. Having recovered his liberty, he returned 
home, where, having consecrated himself and his estate to God, he led an 
anchoretical life at Vernon upon the Seine, in the assiduous practices of 
penance and fervent prayer. He consummated his sacrifice by a happy 
death on the 30th of x\pril, in 1131, and is commemorated on this day in the 
new accurate Martyrology of Evreux, and in the calendars of many other 
churches in Normandy. 

5 p. 359. 












VOL. V. 





1. PAGE 

St. Philip, Apostle 203 

St. James the Less, Apostle 203 

St. Asaph, Bishop and Confessor 207 

St. Marcou, or Marculfus, Abbot 208 

St. Sigisniund, King and Martyr 208 

St. Andeolus, Martyr 209 

St, Brieuc, Bishop and Confessor 209 

St. Amator, Bishop and Confessor 210 

SS. Acius and Acheolus, Martyrs 210 


St. Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria, Doctor 211 
Life and Writings of Lucifer, Bishop of Cagliari 221 
On the Writings of St. Athanasius 225 


Invention of the Holy Cross 226 

St. Alexander, Pope and Martyr 231 


St. Monica, Widow 232 

St. Godard, Bishop and Confessor 237 


St. Pius v., Pope and Confessor 238 

Knights of Malta, &c 240 

St. Hilary, Bishop and Confessor * 240 

St. Angelas, Martyr 249 

St. Mauront, Abbot 250 

St. Avertin, Confessor 251 


St. John before the Latin Gate 251 

St. John Damascen, Father of the Church 2.54 

His Writings 256 

St. Eadbert, Bishop and Confessor 258 


St. Stanislas, Bishop and Martyr 259 

St. Benedict H., Pope and Confessor 262 

St. John of Beverley, Bishop and Confessor 263 

Life and Writings of Alcuin, Deacon of York . . 264 

Apparition of St. Michael, Archangel 265 

St. Peter, Bishop 269 

St. Victor, Martyr 272 

St. Wiro, Bishop in Ireland 272 

St. Odrian, Bishop in Ireland 272 

St. Gybrian of Ireland, Priest 273 


St. Gregory Nazianzen, Bishop and Confessor . . 273 

His Writings 284 

St. Hernias 286 

St. Nicholas, Bishop and Confessor 286 

St. Brynoth, Bishop and Confessor 287 

10. PAGE 

St. Antoninus, Bishop and Confessor 288 

His Writings 291 

Achard, Bishop of Avranches 292 

SS. Gordian and Epimachus, Martyrs 292 

St. Isidore. Patron of Madrid 293 

St. Comgall, Abbot in Ireland 295 

St. Cataldus, Bishop 296 


St. Mammertus, Bishop and Confessor 297 

St. Maieul, Abbot of Cluni, Confessor 298 

St. Francis di Girolamo, Confessor 30O 


SS. Nereus and Achilleus, Martyrs 311 

St. Flavia Domitilla, Virgin and Martyr 312 

St. Pancras, Martyr 312 

St. Epiphanius, Bishop and Confessor 313 

His Writings 313 

St. Germanus, Bishop 315 

St. Rictrudes, Abbess 316 


St. John the Silent, Bishop and Confessor 317 

St. Peter Regalati, Confessor 320 

St. Servatius, Bishop 321 


St. Boniface, MartjT 321 

St. Pachomius, Abbot 324 

St. Pontius, Martyr 328 

St. Carthagh, or Mochudu, Bishop in Ireland . . 329 


SS. Peter, Andreve, &c.. Martyrs 330 

St. Dynipna, Virgin and Martyr 331 

St. Genebrard, or Genebern, Martyr in Ireland . 332 


St. John Nepomucen, Martyr 332 

St. Simon Stock, Confessor 338 

St. Ubaldus, Bishop 340 

St. Honoratus, Bishop and Confessor 342 

St. Abdjesus, or Hebedjesus, Bishop and Martyr 342 

St. Abdas, Bishop '. . 342 

St. Brendan the Elder, Abbot in Ireland 343 


St. Paschal Baylon, Confessor 343 

St. Possidius, Bishop and Confessor 346 

St. Ma den, or Madern, Confessor 347 

St. Maw, Confessor 349 

St. Cathan, Bishop and Confessor 349 

St. Silave, or Silan, Bishop and Confessor in Ire- 
land 349 



18. PAGE 

St. Eric, King and iVIartyr 350 

St. Theodotus, etc., Martyrs 351 

St. Venantius, IVIartyr 357 

St. Potamon, Bishop and Martyr 357 


St. Peter Celestine, Pope and Confessor 358 

St. Pudentiana, Virgin 363 

St. Dunstan, Bishop and Confessor 363 


St. Bernardin of Sienna, Confessor 366 

His Worlis 370 

St. Ethel bert, King and Martyr 371 

B. Yvo, Bishop and Confessor 371 

His Writings 372 


St. Felix, Confessor 374 

St. Godric, Hermit 378 

St. Hospitius, or Sospis, Recluse 379 


St. Yvo, Confessor 379 

St. Basiliscus, Martyr • 382 

SS. Castus and jEmilius, Martyrs 382 

St. Bobo, Confessor 382 

St. Conall, Abbot in Ireland 383 


St. Julia, Virgin and Martyr 383 

St. Desiderius, Bishop and Mart>-r 384 

Another St. Desiderius, Bishop and Martyr 384 


St. Vincent of Lerins, Confessor 385 

SS. Donatia.i and Rogatian, Martyrs 387 

St. JohndePrado, Martyr 388 


St. Mary of Pazzi, Virgin 389 

St. Urban, Priest and Martyr 394 


St. Aldhem, Bishop 394 

St. Gregory VII., Pope and Confessor 395 

His Writings 398 

SS. Maximus and Venerand, Martyrs 398 

St. Dunihade of Ireland, Abbot 400 


St. Philip Neri, Confessor 400 

Lives and Writings of cardinal Berulle, F. Con- 

dren, F. Bourgnoin, F. Le Jeune, F. Eudes, F. 

Bernard, and Sister Mary of the Incarnation ■• 407 
St. Augustine, Apostle of England, Bishop and 

Confessor 410 

St. Eleutherius, Pope and Martyr 420 

St. Quadratus, Bishop and Confessor 422 

St. Oduvald, Abbot and Confessor 423 


St. John, Pope and Martyr 424 

Life and Writings of Boetius 425 

St. Bede, Confessor and Father of the Church . . 427 

His Writings 428 

St. Julius, Martyr 434 


St. Germanus, Bishop and Confessor 435 

St. Caraunus, or Caro, Martyr 439 


St. Maximinus, Bishop and Confessor 440 

St. Cyril, Martyr 440 

St. Conon and his Son, Martyrs 441 

SS. Sisinnius, Martyrius, and Alexander, Martyrs 442 


St. Felix, Pope and Martyr 443 

St. Walstan, Confessor 444 

St. Ferdinand III., King and Confessor 444 

St. Maguil 449 


St. Petronilla, Virgin 450 

SS. Cantius, Cantianus, and Cantianilla, Martyrs 451 



St. Philip was of Bethsaida, in Galilee, and called by our Saviour to 
follow him' the day after St. Peter and St. Andrew.* He was at that time 
a married man, and had several daughters ;t but his being engaged in the 
married state hindered him not, as St. Chrysostom observes, from medita- 
ting continually on the law and the prophets, which disposed him for the 
important discovery of the Messias in the person of Jesus Christ, in obedi- 
ence to whose command he forsook all to follow him, and became thence- 
forth the inseparable companion of his ministry and labors. Philip had no 
sooner discovered the Messias, than he was desirous to make his friend 
Nathanael a sharer in his happiness, saying to him : We have found him 
of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write, that is, the Messias ; 
Jesus, the son of Joseph, of Nazareth. Nathanael was not so ready to give 
his assent to this assertion of his friend, by reason that the supposed Messias 
was reported to be of J^azareth. Philip therefore desired him to come him- 
self to Jesus and see ; not doubting but, upon his personal acquaintance with 
the Son of God, he would be as much convinced of the truth as he was 
himself. Nathanael complied, and Jesus, seeing him approach, said, within 
his hearing : Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile. Na- 
thanael asked him, how he came to know him : Jesus replied : Before 
Philip called thee, lohen thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee. Nathanael, 
as two holy fathers explain the matter, calling to mind that the closeness of 
his retirement on that occasion was such, that no human creature could see 
him, owned him hereupon for the Son of God, and the King of Israel, or, 
in other words, the Messiah, foretold by Moses and the prophets. The 
marriage at Cana of Galilee happening three days after, to which Jesus 
and his disciples were invited, St. Philip was present at it with the rest. 
The year following, when our Lord formed the college of apostles, Philip 
was appointed one of that number, and, from the several passages of the 
gospel, he appears to have been particularly dear to his divine Master. 
Thus, when Jesus was about to feed five thousand persons, who had fol- 
lowed him into the wilderness, for the greater evidence of the miracle, and 
for the trial of this apostle's faith, Jesus proposed to him the difficulty of 

1 Jo. i. 43. 

* St. Clement of Alexandria relates, as a thing well known, that St. Philip was the person, who, when 
called hy our Lord, begged leave to go home first and hury his father ; which occasioned the reply ; Fulluw 
me, and let the dead bury their dead. By which words Christ meant not to condemn duties of that kind, 
but gave the disciple to understand, that, being called to the highest spiritual functions, these were to be 
preferred to corporal works of mercy. 

t Some of these, as St. Clement of Alexandria testifies, (Strom. I. 3, p. 428,) he settled in marriage. 
But two of them lived always virgins to a great age, and were buried at Hierapolis, as we learn from 
Polycrates, quoted by Eusebius, (b. 2, c. 31.) Sozomen relates, (1. 7, c. a?,) that one of them raised a dead 
man to life ; and Papias says, (Eus. Hist. 1. 3, c. 39,) that he heard this miracle from their own mouths, 
though not as wrought by them. Polycrates mentions a third daughter, of great sanctity, probably married, 
buried at Ephesus, and calls these three sisters the Lights of Asia. 

204 s. PHILIP, A. [May 1. 

feeding the multitudes in that desolate place.^ And a little before our 
Saviour's passion, certain Gentiles, desirous to see Christ, made their 
first address to Philip, and by him and St. Andrew obtained that favor. 
Our Saviour, in the discourse he made to his disciples immediately after 
his last supper, having promised them a more clear and perfect knowledge 
of his heavenly Father than they had had hitherto, St. Philip cried out, with 
a holy eagerness and impatience : Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth 
us. From which words our Saviour took occasion to inculcate afresh a 
steady belief of his divinity, and perfect equality with the Father, saying : 
So long a time have I been with you, (teaching you who I am bath by my 
words and actions,) and have you not known me ? (If you beheld me with 
the eyes of faith such as I really am, in seeing me you would see the 
Father also, because) / am in the Father, and the Father is in me? 

After our Lord's ascension the gospel was to be preached to the whole 
world by a few persons, who had been eye-witnesses of his miracles, and 
were enabled, by the power of the Holy Ghost, to confirm their testimony 
concerning him by doing the like wonderful works themselves. That this 
might be accomplished, it was necessary that the disciples should quickly 
disperse themselves into all parts of the world. St. Philip accordingly 
preached the gospel in the two Phrygias, as Theodoret and Eusebius assure 
us from undoubted monuments. St. Polycarp, who was only converted in 
the year 80, enjoyed his conversation for some time,'' consequently St. Philip 
must have lived to a very advanced age. It appears, from a passage of 
Polycrates, quoted by Eusebius,nhat he was buried at Hierapolis,in Phrygia, 
which city was indebted to his relics for its preservation by continual mira- 
cles, as is averred by the author of the sermon on the twelve apostles, 
attributed to St. Chrysostom.^ An arm of St. Philip was brought from Con- 
stantinople to Florence, in 1204, whereof we have an authentic history in 
the BoUandists. The Orientals keep his festival on the 14th of November; 
the Latins on the 1st of May, with St. James. His body is said to be in 
the church of SS. Philip and James, in Rome, which was dedicated to God 
under their name, in 560. The emperor Theodosius, in a vision, received 
from St. John the Evangelist, and St. Phihp, the assurance of victory over 
the tvrant Eugenius, the morning before the battle, in 394, as Theodoret 

From St. Philip we must particularly learn an ardent love of God, and 
desire to see the Father. He asked only this favor, because this was his 
only desire. Is it ours ? Do we feel it so perfect as to extinguish all in- 
ordinate earthly aff'ections and desires in our breasts ? Do we employ the 
proper means to attain to this happy disposition ? To obtain it, let us employ 
the succor of this apostle's prayers, and by disengaging our hearts from 
corruption and vanity, become, in desires and affections, citizens of heaven. 
The pilgrim soul sees herself a stranger here on earth, and discovers noth- 
ing in this desert place of her banishment but an abyss of vanity, and 
subjects of compunction, grief, and fears. On the other side, looking up to 
God, she contemplates the magnificence and splendor of his kingdom, which 
will haye no end : its peace, security, sanctity without stain, delights with- 
out sorrow, unchangeable and incomprehensible joys ; and she cries out in 
a holy transport : " joy surpassing all joys, and without which there is no 
true joy, when shall I possess you ? O, sovereign good, discover to me 
some ray of thy beauty and of thy glory ; may my heart be set on flame 
by thy love, and my soul languish and waste with desire to be united to 

2 Jo vi 5 ^ lb. xiv. ^ See Tillemont, t. 1, p. 384. 

sB.'a, c. 31. 6T. 8, Ed. Ben. ' B. 5, c, 34. 

May 1.] s. JAMES, apostle. 205 

thee, to behold thee face to face, to sing thy praises night and day, to drink 
of the plenty of thy house, and of the torrent of thy delights, to be forever 
confirmed in thy loA^e, and in some measure transformed into thee !" Such 
a soul seeks to hide herself from the eyes of men, to live unknown to the 
world ; and, in retirement and repose, to apply herself to prayer, all her 
thoughts being taken up in contemplating the glorious things which are said 
of the blessed city of her God. All worldly enjoyments and distractions 
are insupportable to her, and she finds no comfort in this place of banish- 
ment but in singing the praises of her God, in adoring and in doing always 
his will, and in the sweet sighs and tears with which she seeks him, and 
begs him to reign perfectly in her affections by his grace and love, and to 
draw her speedily to himself out of this Babylon, in which every object 
increases her affliction, and inflames her desire, seeming to say to her : 
Where is thy God ? 


See Tillemont, t. I, p. 405 ; Ceiilier, t. 1, p. 422. 

St. James, to distinguish him from the other apostle of the same name, 
the son of Zebedee, was called the Less ; which apellation is supposed to 
have taken its rise, either from his having been called later to the apostle- 
ship than the former, or from the lowness of his stature, or from his youth. 
He is also known by the title of James the Just, a denomination all Vigxee^fm 
with Hegesippus' and St. Clement of Alexandria, to have been given on^ 
account of his eminent sanctity. He was the son of Alpheus* and Mary, 
the sister of the Blessed Virgin, and seems to have been born some years 
before our Lord. Jesus came with his brethren, and probably St. James 
among the rest, to settle in Capharnaum, at the beginning of his ministry.^ 
James and his brother Jude were called to the apostleship in the second 
year of Christ's preaching, soon after the Pasch, in the year 31. He was 
favored with an extraordinary apparition of his Master after his resurrec- 
tion.' Clement of Alexandria says, that Christ being risen from the dead, 
communicated the gift of science* to SS. James the Just, John, and Peter, 
and that they imparted it to the other apostles. We are told by SS. 
Jerom* and Epiphanius,'' that our Lord, at his ascension, recommended his 
church of Jerusalem to St. James ; in consequence whereof the apostles, 
before their dispersion, constituted him bishop of that city. It Vv^as probably 
for a mark of his episcopal authority, and as an ensign of his dignity, that 
he wore on his head a lamina, or plate of gold, as is recounted by St. 
Epiphanius.' Polycrates, quoted by Eusebius,* testifies, that St. John did 
the same : others relate the like of St. Mark. It was probably done in 
imitation of the Jewish high-priest. 

I B. 2, c. 1, 23. 2 John ii. 12. si Cor. xv. 7. 

4 Tnv YVMoiv, Eus. b. 2, e. I. ^ In Gal. p. 164, 6 Ha;r. 87. 

7 Har. 29. « Eus. b. 3, c. 24. 

* Some take Alpheus and Cleophas to be only different names for the same person. Others are of 
opinioB that Cleophas was Mary's father; or perhaps she married Cleophas after the death of Alpheus. 
Joseph, called in the original te.xt Jose, was a hrorher of St. James, ami son of Mary, (Mark xv. 10.) St. 
Jude styles himself his lirothrr, (Jnde i.) He had also a brother called Simon, the same with Simeon, 
son of Cleophas, and bishop of Jerusalem, whose iife was given on the ISth of February. These were 
called our Lord's brethren, according to the use of that word among the Jews, which extends it to all near 
relations. They had also sisters : St. Epiphanius names two, Mary and Salome. The sons of Cleophas 
were likewise cousins-german to our Saviour, by St. Joseph his reputed father: for Hegesipjius assures 
us that Cleophas was brother of St. Joseph. Cleophas was himself a disciple of Christ, who going to 
Emmaus with another disciple, was favored with the apparition related, Luke xxiv He is honored in 
the Roman Martyrology the 25th of September ; and Mary, his spouse, who had followed and served 
Christ in Galilee, and attended him in his passion and burial, on the 9th of April. 


206 S. JAMES, APOSTLE. [MaY 1. 

St. James governed that church in perpetual dangers, from the fury of 
the people and their violent persecutions ; but his singular virtue procured 
him the veneration of the Jews themselves. As to his sanctity, Eusebius^ 
and St. Jerom'" give from Hegesippus the following account concerning him : 
" He was always a virgin, and was a Nazarite, or one consecrated to God. 
In consequence of which he was never shaved, never cut his hair, never 
drank any wine or other strong liquor ; moreover, he never used any bath, 
or oil to anoint his limbs, and never ate of any living creature except when 
of precept, as the paschal lamb : he never wore sandals, never used any 
other clothes than one single linen garment. He prostrated so much in 
prayer, that the skin of his knees and forehead was hardened like to cam- 
els' hoofs." St. Epiphanius says," that, in a great drought, on stretching 
out his arms to heaven, he, by his prayers, instantly obtained rain. His 
eminent sanctity made even the Jews style him the just man : and Origen 
observes,'^ that Josephus himself gives him that epithet, though it is not to 
be found now in Josephus's works. The same reverence for his person 
procured him the privilege of entering at pleasure into the Sanctum or Holy 
place, namely, that part of the temple where none but the priests were al- 
lowed by the law to enter. '^ St. Jerom adds,'^ that the Jews strove, out of 
respect, who should touch the hem of his garment. In the year 51, he 
assisted at the council of the apostles, held at Jerusalem, about the observ- 
ance of circumcision, and the other legal ceremonies of the law of Moses. 
Here, after having confirmed what St. Peter said, he devised the sentence 
Avhich the apostles drew up on that occasion.'^ This apostle being bishop 
of a church, which then chiefly consisted of Jewish converts, tolerated the 
use of the legal ceremonies,'^ and, together with others, advised St. Paul to 
purify himself and offer sacrifice. '"^ He is the author of a canonical epistle 
which he wrote in Greek. It is at the head of those called catholic, or uni- 
versal, because addressed not to any one particular church, but to the whole 
body of the converted Jews dispersed thi-oughout the then known world. 
It was penned some time after those of St. Paul to the Galatians, in 55, and 
to the Romans in 58. It could not, therefore, be written before the year 59, 
fourteen years after the death of St. James the greater. The author's view 
in this epistle is to refute the false teachers, who, abusing certain expres- 
sions in St. Paul's writings, pretended that faith alone was sufficient to jus- 
tification without good works : whereas, without these, he declares our faith 
is dead. He adds excellent precepts of a holy life, and exhorts the faithful 
not to neo'lect the sacrament of extreme unction in sickness. 

The oriental liturgy or mass, which bears the name of this apostle, is 
mentioned by Proclus, patriarch of Constantinople, and by the council in 
Trullo, and is of venerable antiquity.* St. Basil, indeed, testifies,'® that the 
words of the sacred invocation in the consecration of the bread and of the 
cup, were not committed to writing, but learned and preserved by tradition 
down to the fourth century, which was done on a motive of respect and ven- 
eration : but other parts of the liturgy were written. Perhaps St. James 
gave only general directions about this liturgy, upon whose plan it was af- 
terwards drawn up or enlarged. His singular learning in sacred matters is 
extolled by St. Clement of Alexandria,'^ and St. Jeroiu.-" 

The Jews, being exasperated at the disappointment of their malicious de- 

3 E. 2, c. 23. '0 In Jovin. b. 2, c. 24. " Haer. 78. 

12 Ori^'. in Cels. 1. 1, p. 35. » Heges. apud Eus. ib. » In Galat. 1. 19. 

1= Act-s XV. "^ Gal. ii. 11. -" Acls xxi. 17. 

IS L. de Spir. S. c. ST?. » Apud Eus. 1. 2, c 1. 20 l. contra Cels. 

* See Le Bran, Snr les Liturgies. 


May 1.] 

S. ASAPH, B. C. 


signs against St. Paul, by his appeal to Caesar, to whom he was sent by 
Festus, in the year 60, were resolved to revenge it on St. James. That 
governor, dying before the arrival of his- successor, Albinus, this vacancy 
gave them an opportunity of acting more arbitrarily than otherwise they 
durst have done. Wherefore, during this interval, Ananus, the high-priest, 
son of the famous Annas mentioned in the gospels, having assembled the 
Sanhedrim, or great council of the Jews, summoned St. James and others 
before it. Josephus, the Jewish historian, says,^' that St. James was ac- 
cused of violating the laws, and delivered to the people to be stoned to 
death. And Hegesippus adds,^^ that they carried him up to the battlements 
of the temple, and would have compelled him from thence to make a public 
renunciation of his faith in Christ, with this further view, thereby to unde- 
ceive, as they termed it, those among the people who had embraced Chris- 
tianity. But St. James took that opportunity to declare his belief in Jesus 
Christ, after the most solemn and public manner. For he cried out aloud 
from the battlements, in the hearing of a great multitude, which was then 
at Jerusalem on account of the passover, that Jesus, the Son of man, was 
seated at the right hand of the Sovereign Majesty, and would come in the 
clouds of heaven to judge the world. The Scribes and Pharisees, enraged 
at this testimony in behalf of Jesus, cried out : " The just man also hath 
erred." And going up to the battlements, they threw him headlong down 
to the ground, saying, " He must be stoned." St. James, though very 
much bruised by his fall, had strength enough to get upon his knees, and in 
this posture, lifting up his eyes to heaven, he begged of God to pardon his 
murderers, seeing that they knew not what they did. The rabble below re- 
ceived him with showers of stones^ and at last a fuller gave him a blow on 
the head with his club, such as is used in dressing of cloths, after which 
he presently expired. This happened on the festival of the Pasch, the 10th 
of April, in the year of Christ 62, the seventh of Nero. He was buried 
near the temple, in the place in which he was martyred, where a small col- 
umn was erected. Such was the reputation of his sanctity, that the Jews 
attributed to his death the destruction of Jerusalem, as we read in St. Je- 
rom,^^ Origen,^' and Eusebius," who assure us that Josephus himself declared, 
it in the genuine editions of his history. Ananus put others to death for 
the same cause, but was threatened for this very fact by Albinus, and de- 
posed from the high-priesthood by Agrippa. The episcopal throne of St. 
James was shown with respect at Jerusalem, in the fourth century. His 
relics are said to have been brought to Constantinople about the year 572. 


St. Kentigern, bishop of Glasgow, in Scotland, being driven from his 
own see, founded a monastery and episcopal chair on the banks of the river 
Elwy, in North Wales. Bishop Usher writes, from John of Tinmouth, that, 
in this abbey, nine hundred and sixty-five monks served God in great con- 
tinence. Three hundred who were illiterate, this holy abbot appointed to 
till the ground, and take care of the cattle : other three hundred to do neces- 
sary work within the monastery ; and three hundred and sixty-five he depu- 
ted to celebrate the divine office. These last never went out of the mon- 
astery, unless upon some urgent necessity, but attended continually in God's 
sanctuary, being divided into companies, one of which began the divine office 
in the choir as another had finished it, and went out, as among the Acserae- 

31 Ant. 1. 20. 22 Apud Eus. 1. 2, c. 23. 

SI Contra Cels. 1. 1, and in Matt. p. 223. 

23 In Jovin. b. 1, c. 24. 
^ Eus. Hist. 1. 1, c. 23. 



[May 1. 

tes, at Constantinople : by this means the divine praises suffered no inter- 
ruption in the church. Among these monks St. Asaph shone as a bright 
light, most illustrious for his birth, virtues, and miracles. When St. Ken- 
tigern was called back to Glasgow, he appointed St. Asaph, the most dis- 
tinffuished for learning and piety among his disciples, abbot and bishop at 
Llan-Elwy. Our saint was a diligent preacher, and had frequently this 
saying in his mouth : " They who withstand the preaching of God's word, 
envy the salvation of men." St. Asaph wrote certain canons or ordinances 
of his church, the life of St. Kentigern, and some other works. He died 
about the close of the sixth century ; for he flourished about the year 590. 
From him the see of Elwy took the name of St. Asaph's : though it con- 
tinued long vacant; for we find no mention of any other bishop of St. 
Asaph's before the twelfth century, when Geoffrey of Monmouth was ad- 
vanced to that episcopal chair. Wharton gives him a predecessor named 
Gilbert. See Le Neve's Fasti, p. 20 ; Dr. Brown Willis, and principally 
Leland de Script. Angl. 


Abbot of Nanteu, in the diocese of Coutances, in Normandy, famous for 
miracles, especially in healing the scrofulous disorder, called the king's 
evil. He died on the first of May, in 558, and is honored in the Martyrolo- 
gies of Coutances, Evreux, &c. 


Wonderful is the providence of God in the means by which he pre- 
serves his elect from the contagion of vice, and conducts them to eternal 
life. This saint was son of Gondebald, the Arian king of the Burgundians, 
but embraced the Catholic faith through the instructions of St. Alcimus Avi- 
tus, bishop of Yienne.* He succeeded to the kingdom of his father in 516, 

* The Burgundians were a principal tribe of the Vandals, as Pliny and Zozimus assure us, and is fur- 
ther proved in the late history of Burjiundy, and in L'Essai sur les premiers Rois de Bourgone, et sur 
I'Orisine des Bour<ruignons, a Dijon, 4to. 1771. They are first met with on the banks of the Vistula, in 
Prussia When Procopius wrote, on this side of the Elbe, below the Thuringi ; in 407, they passed the 
Rhine into Gaul, and, under their first king, Gondicaire, in 413, conquered the country between the Upper 
Rhine, the Rhone, and the Saone, where they settled their kingdom, and shortly after extended its limits, 
so that it comprised what was afterwards the duchy of Burgundy, the Tranche Coint6, Provence, Lyon- 
nois, Dauphine, Savuye, &c., with the cities Geneva, Lyons, Aulun, Basil, Severs, Grenoble, Besancon, 
Langres, Viviers, Embrun, Vienne, Orange, Carpentras, Apt, &c. Gondicarius, the first king of the Bur- 
gundians, reigned fifty years, from 413 to 4G3, as appears from his letter to pope Hilarj-, and that pope's an- 
swer, in which he styles him his son, &c. Chilperic, his son, who succeeded him, was a zealous Catholic 
prince ■ but. having reigned about twenty-eight years, was assassinated with his wife, two sons, and bro- 
ther Godomar, by his ambitious brother, Gondebald, who had embraced the Arian heresy. After a reign of 
twenty-five years, he died, in olG, leaving two sons, Sigismund and Godomar. He reformed the code of 
the Bur'undian laws, called from him Loi Gombetle. His brother Chilperic's two daughters were brought 
up at his court at Geneva : Chrone, the eldest, took the religious veil, Clotildis, the second, was married to 
Clovi'; kin" of the Franks, who waged war against him, to revenge the murder of Chilperic, and besieged 
him in Avignon, but afterwards made peace with him. Clodomir, king of Orleans, with his brothers, re- 
newed this\var against St. Sigismund, whom he took and caused to be drowned at Orleans, in 524. Clo- 
domir pursued hi* brother and successor Godomar; but was defeated by him and slain. Ten years after, 
Clotaire and Childebert vanquished him. in .533, from which time the ancient kingdomof Burgundy was 
divided anion" the kings of the Franks. Among these, Gontran, son of Clotaire L, took the title of king of 
Burgundy and reigned at Chalons sur Saone, though his brother Sigebert possessed a large part of that 
country. Childebert, son of Sigebert, in .523, and Thierri II., the son of Childebert, in .590, bore the same 
title. After the death of the latter, in 613, Burgundy lost its title of a kingdom in the hands of French 
monarchs; but was revived for a short time in Charles, youngest son of the emperor Lothaire. with the 
title of king of Provence, afterwards of Aries. Upper Burgundy was called Franche Comte, because it 
owed onlv military service. ^ , , , , ,, 

We find the Burgundians Christians and Catholics, under Gondicaire, soon after they had crossed tne 
Rhine, and were settled in France. From Sozomen it appears that their conversion happened about the 
year 317. Those moderns who imagine them infected with Arianisra almost as soon as they were Chris- 
tians, are certainly mistaken. For it is manifest from Socrates, Nicephorus, Orosius, &c., that they re- 
mained zealous Catholics anove a century and a half after their conversion to Christianity ; not ontj to 

May 1.] s. BRiEuc, b. c. 209 

and in the midst of barbarism lived humble, mortified, penitent, devout, and 
charitable, even on the throne ; a station in which the very name of true 
virtue is too often scarce known. Before the death of his father, he built the 
famous monastery of St. Maurice at Agaune, in the Valais, in the year 515, 
where many holy hermits lived before that time in scattered cells. God 
permitted this good prince to fall into a snare. He suffered his son Sigeric 
to be put to death, upon an accusation forged by his second wife, of a con- 
spiracy against his life : but afterwards discovering the calumny, and pierced 
to the quick with remorse, he retired to Agaune, where he did penance in 
tears and sackcloth. He made it his prayer to God that he might be pun- 
ished in this life, to escape the divine vengeance in the next. His prayer 
was heard : for being taken prisoner by Chlodomir, the barbarous king of 
the Franks, he was, by his order, drowned in a well at Columelle, four 
leagues from Orleans, after he had reigned one year. His body was kept 
honorably at Agaune, till it was removed to the cathedral of Prague by the 
emperor Charles IV.' It has been famous for many miracles. See St. 
Gregory of Tours, Hist. Fr. 1. 3, c. 5 and 6, and Henschenius's Collec- 
tions, t. 1, Maij. p. 83. 


He was a disciple of St. Polycarp, preached the gospel in Gaul, and 
received the crown of martyrdom at Bergoiate upon the Rhone, his head 
being sawn asunder with a wooden saw, by an order of the emperor 
Severus, in his march through Gaul for Britain, in the year 208.* The 
town of St. Andiol, in Vivarez, is possessed of the treasure of his relics. 
See Bosquet, part 2 ; Hist. Eccles. Gallic, p. 91 ; Henschenius, p. 35. 


He was of an illustrious extraction in Great Britain, a native of the 
province called Coriticiana, which some take for Ceretica, now Cardigan- 
shire : others for the Coretans, situated on the Trent, now in Staffordshire 
and Derbyshire : others will have it to be Cornwall. His father was called 
Cerpus, and his mother Eldrude.f St. Germanus of Auxerre, coming into 
Britain in 429, St. Brieuc, then about twenty years of age, became his 
disciple, and followed him back to France, where he was some time after 
promoted to priest's orders. Returning afterwards into his own country, 
he converted his parents, and, with their liberal assistance, built a famous 
church called Grande-Lann, and there trained up a great number of disci- 
ples. Several years after he passed into Armorica, where he landed at 
Achm, perhaps in the country of Achk, in the bishopric of Leon. In the 
territory of Treguier he converted from a worldly life a wealthy nobleman 

1 On this translation see Henschenius, 1. 1, Maij. p. 88. 

the year 440, fixed by Tillemont, but down to 491. They fell into Arianism only in the close of that cen- 
tury, and remained attached to that heresy no longer than about twenty years, during the reign of Gon- 
debaUi, their third king. See Abrtige Chronologique de I'Hist. Eccl. Civile et LittiSr. de Bourgogne, par M. 
Mille, 8vo. 1770. 

* At the request of St. German, bishop of Paris, liing Childebert founded at Paris the chapel of St. 
Aiideol, which he subjected to the abbey of St. Vincent, now St. Germaiu-des-Prez. This chapel 
afterwards became a great parochial church, under the title of St. Andrew's Des Arcs, in Latin De 
Arcubus, because it was built with arches, a thing formerly very extraordinary. It is sometimes corruptly 
called St. Andre des Arts. St. Andeol is still honored in it as primitive titular patron. 

t Eldrude is not only a Saxon name, as Henschenius pretends, but also British, from Ell, the reduplica- 
tive preposition, and Drud which signities illustrious, or well-beloved. 

VOL. II. — 27 


named Conan, by whose liberality he was enabled to build a monastery in 
the northern part of Armorica, which he governed some years. At length, 
appointing another abbot of the numerous community which he had formed, 
he repaired to his relation and friend, prince Riwallon, or Rigald, anciently 
prince of Domnonia, in Britain. This prince, who had lately settled with 
a colony of his British subjects in part of Armorica, gave to the saint a 
house and parcel of lands, where he built a monastery and a church, 
which was afterwards dedicated to God under the patronage of St. 
Stephen. The saint took upon him the government of this monastery, and 
departed to God in peace about the year 502, being upwards of ninety 
years old. His legend mentions not his episcopal character, but he is 
styled a bishop in an inscription on a marble stone, found in his shrine, in 
1210. He seems to have been ordained a regionary bishop before he left 
Britain. The monastery of St. Brieuc, which was then grown into a 
considerable town, was only erected into a bishopric in 844. The relics 
of St. Brieuc, during the invasion of the Normans, were translated to the 
abbey of St. Sergius, at Angers, in 866, but a portion was restored to St. 
Brieuc's, in 1210. See Dom. Lobineau, Vies des Sts. de la Bretagne, 
p. 11, who recovered great part of his acts, which Henschenius was not 
able to meet with. T. 1, Maij. p. 81. 


He served God from his infancy with his whole heart, and applied 
himself to the study of the sacred sciences under Valerian, bishop of 
Auxerre. In compliance with the desires of his parents, he took to wife 
Martha, a rich young lady of Langres ; but no sooner was the contract 
solemnized in the church, but, taking her aside, he spoke to her in such 
strong terms on the advantages of holy virginity, that, by her free consent, 
they on the spot engaged themselves, by a mutual vow, to embrace that 
state for the sake of more perfect virtue. She soon after took the religious 
veil, and he received the clerical tonsure. Being afterwards chosen bishop 
of Auxerre, he governed that church thirty years, from 388 to 418, labor- 
ing to conduct his flock by his example and assiduous exhortations, in the 
paths of eternal salvation. He died on the first of May, 418. See his 
life, and that of Saint Germanus and other monuments, collected by 
Henschenius, t. 1, Maij. p. 50. 



They seem to have suffered about the year 200, and are honored in the 
Gallican Martyrologies, and especially at Amiens, on the first of May. 
See Molanus in Auctario Usuardi, and Henschenius, 1st of May, and an 
old Martyrology imder the name of St. Jerom, quoted by him. 

The church of St. Acheul, without the walls of Amiens, was originally 
the cathedral ; but this being removed by St. Salvius to our Lady's in the 
city, the church of St. Acheul became dependent on it. A community of 
regular canons was there erected in 1145. It is now a member of the 
reformed congregation of St. Genevieve. In digging foundations for a 
new church, five very ancient tombs were found, which have been the 
subject of many dissertations, especially whether one is not that of St. 

May 2.] ST, ATHANASIUS, B. D. 211 

Firminus, bishop and confessor, whose relics are enshrined in the cathe- 




From his works, and the fathers and historians of that age. See his life by Hcrmant, who first cleared 
up the intricate history of Arianism. See also Tiileinont, CeiUier, Orsi, the Benedictin editors of this 
father, and Combetis, Bibl. Concionat. p. 500 ad 530. 

A. D. 373. 

St. Gregory Nazianzen begins with these words his panegyric of this 
glorious saint, and champion of the faith:' "When I praise Athanasius, 
virtue itself is my theme : for I name every virtue as often as I mention 
him who was possessed of all virtues. He was the true pillar of the 
church. His life and conduct were the rule of bishops, and his doctrine 
the rule of the orthodox faith." St. Athanasius was a native of Alexan- 
dria, and seems to have been born about the year 296. His parents, who 
were Christians, and remarkable for their virtue, were solicitous to procure 
him the best education. After he had learned grammar and the first 
elements of the sciences, St. Alexander, before he was raised to the 
episcopal chair of that city, was much delighted with the virtuous deport- 
ment of the youth, and with the pregnancy of his wit ; and took upon 
himself the direction of his studies, brought hii:n up under his own eye, 
always made him eat with him, and employed him as his secretary. Atha- 
nasius copied diligently the virtues of his master, imbibed his maxims of 
piety and holy zeal, was directed by him in the plan and method of his 
studies, and received from him the greatest assistance in the pursuit of 
them. By writing under so great a master, he acquired the most elegant, 
easy, and methodical manner of composition. Profane sciences he only 
learned as far as they were necessary, or might be rendered subservient to 
those that are most sublime and important : but from their aid he contracted 
an elegant, clear, methodical, and masterly style ; and was qualified to 
enter the lists in defence of our holy faith with the greatest advantage. 
However, the sacred studies of religion and virtue he made the serious 
employment of his whole life : and how much he excelled in them, the 
sequel of his history and perusal of his works show. From his easy and 
ready manner of quoting the holy scriptures, one would imagine he knew 
them by heart : at least, by the assiduous meditation and study of those 
divine oracles he had filled his heart with the spirit of the most perfect 
piety, and his mind with the true science of the profound mysteries which 
our divine religion contains. But in his study of the sacred writings, the 
tradition of the church was his guide, which he diligently sought in the 
comments of the ancient doctors, as he testifies. '^ In another place, he 
declares that he had learned it from holy inspired masters, and martyrs for 
the divinity of Christ.^ That he might neglect no branch of ecclesiastical 
learning, he applied himself diligently to the study of the canons of the 

I Or. 21. . 2 Drat, contra gentes, p. 1. 3 L. de Incarn. p. 66. 

212 S. ATHANASmS, B. D. [MaY 2. 

cliurch, in which no one was more perfectly versed : nor was he a stranger 
to the civil law, as appears from his works ; on which account Sulpicius 
Severus styles him a lawyer. 

Achillas, who had succeeded St. Peter in the patriarchal see of Alex- 
andria, dying in 313, St. Alexander was promoted to that dignity.* The 
desire of grounding himself in the most perfect practice of virtue drew St. 
Athanasius into the deserts to the great St. Antony, about the year 315; with 
whom he made a considerable stay, serving him in quality of a disciple, and 
regarding it as an honor to pour water on his hands when he washed them."* 
When he had by his retreat prepared himself for the ministry of the altar, 
he returned to the city, and having passed through the inferior degrees of 
ecclesiastical orders, was ordained deacon about the year 319. St. Alexan- 
der was so much taken with his prudence, virtue, and learning, that he de- 
sired to have him always with him, and governed his flock by his advice. He 
stood much in need of such a second, in defending his church against the 
calumnies and intrigues of the schismatics and heretics. The holy patri- 
arch St. Peter had, at the intercession of the martyrs and confessors, dis- 
pensed with the rigor of the canons in behalf of certain persons who through 
frailty had fallen into idolatry during the persecution, and upon their repent- 
ance had received them again to communion. Meletius, bishop of Lycos in 
Thebais, unjustly took offence at this lenity, and on that pretence formed a 
schism over all Egypt against St. Peter and his successors. Arius, a, Ly- 
bian by birth, and a deacon, who for seditious practices was expelled the 
church by his bishop St. Peter, fell in -^^ith Meletius. St. Peter was so well 
acquainted with his turbulent spirit, that no entreaties could move him, even 
when he was going to martyrdom, to receive him into the communion of the 
church. However, his successor, Achillas, upon his submission and repent- 
ance, not only admitted him into his communion, but also ordained him 
priest, and intrusted him with the church of Baucalis, one of the parishes of 
the city. Achillas was succeeded by St. Alexander, whose promotion Arius 
resented as an injury done to himself, being in his own opinion the more 
worthy : and some time after impudently and blasphemously asserted that 
Christ was not God, but a mere creature, though formed before all other 
created beings, (but not from eternity,) and of a nature superior in perfec- 
tion to all other creatures. St. Alexander long endeavored by mildness to 
reclaim the heresiarch, but was compelled by his obstinacy to cut him off 
from the communion of the church, in a synod of all the bishops under his 
jurisdiction, held at Alexandria. Arius fled first into Palestine, and thence 
to Nicomedia, where he had already gained by letters the confidence of Eu- 
sebius, the crafty bishop of that city. In 319, St. Alexander sent an account 
of his proceedings against Arius in a circular letter directed to all the bishops 
of the church, signed by St. Athanasius and many others. In 325, he took 
the holy deacon with him to the council of Nice, who there distinguished him- 
self by the extraordinary zeal and learning with which he encountered not 
only Arius, but also Eusebius of Nicomedia, Theognis, and Maris, the prin- 
cipal protectors of that heresiarch ; and he had a great share in the disputa- 
tions and decisions of that venerable assembly, as Theodoret, Sozomen, and 
St. Gregory Nazianzen testify. 

Five months after this great council, St. Alexander, lying on his deathbed, 
by a heavenly inspiration recommended to his clergy and people the choice 
of Athanasius for his successor, thrice repeating his name ; and when he 

4 Athan. Vit. Anton, p. 794. 

* The hearsay story of St. Athanasius baptizing certain children at ptay, is inconsisient -with the evi- 
dent chronology of his history ; as is shown l)y Hermant, Tilleniont, &c. It is only grounded on the au- 
thority of Rufinus, who, on other accounts, is acknowledged to be a careless writer. 

May 2.] 



was found to be absent, he cried out: " Athanasius, you think to escape, but 
you are mistaken.'" Sozoraen says he had absconded for fear of being 
chosen. In consequence of this recommendation, the bishops of all Egypt 
assembled at Alexandria, and finding the people and clergy unanimous in their 
choice of Athanasius for patriarch, they confirmed the election about the 
middle of the year 326 ; for St. Cyril testifies,'' that he held that chair forty- 
six years. He seems then to have been about thirty years of age. He or- 
dained Frumentius bishop of the ^Ethiopians, and made the visitation of^the 
churches under his jurisdiction throughout all Egypt. The Meletians con- 
tinued, after the death of their author, to hold private assemblies, ordain 
new bishops by their own authority, everywhere to divide the people, and 
to fill Egypt with factions and schisms. In vain did St. Athanasius em- 
ploy all the power which his authority put into his hands, to bring them 
back to the unity of the church. The severity of their morals gained them 
a reputation among the people, and their opposition to the Catholics moved 
the Arians to court their friendship. Though these schismatics were in the 
beginning orthodox in faith, and the first and most violent opposers of Arius, 
yet they soon after joined his partisans in calumniating and impugning St. 
Athanasius ; for which purpose they entered into a solemn league of iniquity 
together. For St. Athanasius observes,^ that as Herod and Pontius Pilate 
forgot their enmity to agree in persecuting Christ, so the Meletians and Ari- 
ans dissembled their private animosities, to enter into a mutual confederacy 
and cabal against the truth : which is the spirit of all sectaries, who, though 
divided in every other thing, unite in persecuting the truth and opposing the 

Arius being recalled from banishment, into which he had been sent by 
the emperor, St. Athanasius refused him entrance into the church ; where- 
upon he retired to his friends in Palestine and the neighboring eastern prov- 
inces, at whose entreaty Constantine urged St. Athanasius to adroit him to 
his communion. The intrepid patriarch answered the emperor, that the 
Catholic church could hold no communion with heresy that so impudently 
attacked the divinity of Jesus Christ.^ Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Theog- 
nis, after three years' banishment, seeing Arius already released from his 
exile, wrote a letter to the emperor, which is extant in Socrates and Sozo- 
men, artfully declaring that they all agreed in faith, that they received the 
word consubstantial, having now fully examined its meaning, and that they 
entirely gave themselves up to peace ; but could not anathematize Arius, 
whom, by a long converse with him, and both by word and writing, they had 
found not to be guilty of what had been laid to his charge, and who had al- 
ready met with a favorable reception from his imperial majesty. Hereupon 
the sentence of their banishment was reversed, and they were both permit- 
ted to return to their respective sees. This Eusebius had before ambitiously 
procured his translation from the see of Berytus to that of Nicomedia, which 
being at that time the residence of the eastern emperors, gave him a fair 
opportunity of ingratiating himself with the great ministers of state, and 
thereby of rendering himself considerable for power and interest at court. He 
neither wanted parts nor learning, was of a subtle and daring temper, a deep 
dissembler, and the most artful of men ; and on these accounts a proper in- 
strument of the devil to be the contriver of the calumnies and persecutions 
aeainst our saint and the Catholic church. He was no sooner come back 
to Nicomedia, than he began to set his engines at work. He first wrote a 
civil letter to St. Athanasius, wherein he endeavored to justify Arius. But 
neither his own flattering words, nor the emperor's threats, which he pro- 

5 Sozoinen, b. 2, c. 17 ; Theodoret, b. 2, c. 26. 
7 Or. 1, contr. Arian. 

e Ep. 1. 

8 Apol. contra Arian, p. 178, and Socr. 1. 2, c. 23. 



[May 2. 

cured, prevailing, he wrote to the Meletians that the time was now come to 
put their designs in execution and impeach Athanasius. It was some time 
before they could agree what they should lay to his charge. At length they 
sent three of their schismatical bishops, Isio, Eudsemon, and Callinicus, to 
Nicomedia, who undertook to accuse him to the emperor of having exacted 
linen for the use of his church, and imposed it as a tribute upon the people ; 
also of sending a purse of gold to one Philumenus, who was plotting to usurp 
the^empire. Athanasius being summoned to appear before Constantine, his 
cause was heard in his palace of Psammathia, situated in the suburbs of Ni- 
comedia. The emperor, having examined the accusations against him, 
was convinced of his innocence, acquitted him of what had been alleged 
against him, and sent him back with a letter to the faithful of Alexandria, 
wherein he calls him a man of God, and a most venerable person. 

Eusebius, though baffled for the present, did not despair of compassing 
his ends ; and, in the mean time, contrived the banishment of St. Eustathius, 
the most zealous and holy patriarch of Antioch. And soon after, new alle- 
gations were laid against Athanasius, charging him with the murder of Ar- 
senius, a Meletian bishop, and with other crimes. Constantine appeared 
shocked at the accusation of the murder, and sent an order to St. Athanasius 
to clear himself in a council, which was to be held at Csesarea, in Palestine, 
whereof Eusebius, one of the Arian party, was bishop. The saint, disliking 
it, no doubt, on this account, and justly apprehensive he should not have 
liberty allowed him for his defence, did not appear. This his enemies rep- 
resented to Constantine as the effect of pride and stubbornness ; who, be- 
ing exasperated by these suggestions, began to entertain an ill opinion of 
him, and appointed another council to assemble at Tyre, where he com- 
manded Athanasius, at his peril, to appear. The council met there in Au- 
gust, 335, consisting of sixty bishops, chiefly Arians. St. Athanasius, after 
some delay, came thither, attended with a considerable number of bishops of 
his own province, and, among these, the illustrious confessors, Paphnutius 
and Potamon. All the chiefs of the i\.rian sect were present; the two Euse- 
biuses, Flacillus, the intruded bishop of Antioch, Theognis of Nice, Maris 
of Chalcedon, Narcissus of Neronias, Theodorus of Heraclea, Patrophilus of 
Scythopolis, Ursacius of Syngidon, Valens of Mursa, and George of Lao- 
dicea. The just exception which St. Athanasius made against such judges 
who had declared themselves his enemies, was tyrannically overruled, and, 
on his entering the council, they, instead of allov/ing him to take his place 
among them, obliged him to stand as a criminal at the bar before his judges. 
St. Potamon could not forbear tears upon the occasion ; and, addressing 
himself to Eusebius of Csesarea, who had been a prisoner with him for the 
faith in the late persecution, cried out : " What, Eusebius, are you sitting 
on the bench, and doth Athanasius stand arraigned ? Who can bear this 

with patience ? Tell me ; was not you in prison with me during the perse- 
cution ? As for my part, I lost an eye in it, but I see you are whole and 
sound. How came you to escape so well ?" By which words he insinuated 
a suspicion of public fame, that Eusebius had been guilty of some unlawful 
compliance. The rest of the Egyptian bishops persisted in refusing to al- 
low those to be judges of their patriarch, who were his professed enemies ; 
but their remonstrances were not regarded. 

The first article of accusation against the saint was, that Macarius, his 
deputy, had been guilty of sacrilege, in breaking the chalice of one Ischy- 
ras, a supposed priest, while he was officiating at the altar. This, which 
had been already proved to be mere calumny, and was further confuted by 
deputies sent from Tyre into Egypt to examine into the state of the affair, 
whereby it appeared that the whole charge was groundless and malicious. 

May 2.] s. athanasius, b. d. 215 

and that Ischyras, who at length was reconciled to St. Athanasius, had been 
set on by certain bishops of the Meletian faction. He was next accused of 
having ravished a virgin consecrated to God : and a woman was accordingly 
prevailed with to own and attest the fact in open council. Whereupon 
Timothy, one of the saint's clergy, turning to her, " Woman," said he, " did 
I ever lodge at your house ; did I ever, as you pretend, offer violence to 
you ?" " Yes," said she, " you are the very person I accuse ;" adding, at 
large, the circumstances of time and place. The imposture thus plainly dis- 
covering itself, put the contrivers of it so much out of countenance, that 
they drove her immediately out of the assembly. St. Athanasius indeed in- 
sisted on her staying, and being obliged to declare who it was that had 
suborned her ; but this was overruled by his enemies, alleging that they had 
more important crimes to charge him with, and such as it was impossible to 
elude by any artifices whatsoevei*. They proceeded next to the affair of 
Arsenius, an old Meletian bishop, whom they accused St. Athanasius of 
having murdered. To support this charge, they produced in court a dried 
hand, supposed to be the hand of Arsenius, which, as they alleged, the 
patriarch had ordered to be cut off, to be employed in magical operations. 
The truth was : Arsenius, styled by his party bishop of Hypsele, had fallen 
into some irregularity, and had absconded. St. Athanasius had first pro- 
cured certificates from many persons that he was still living ; and prevailed 
with him afterwards, through the interest of friends, to come privately to 
Tyre, to serve Athanasius on this occasion. The saint therefore asked if 
any of the bishops present knew Arsenius : several answering, they did ; he 
then made him appear before the whole assembly with both his hands. 
Thus was the wicked purpose of his adversaries defeated, no less to the 
pleasure and satisfaction of the innocent, than to the shame and confusion 
of the guilty. Arsenius soon after made his peace with St. Athanasius, and 
with the Catholic church ; as did also John, the most famous of the Meletian 
bishops. The Arians called the saint a magician, and one that imposed 
upon their senses by the black art ; and would have torn him to pieces had 
not the imperial governor interposed and rescued him out of their hands, 
who for further security sent him on board a ship that sailed the same night. 
Having thus escaped their fury, he went soon after for Constantinople. All 
these particulars are related by St. Athanasius, in his apology : also by 
Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret. Though the saint had been convicted 
of no crime, the Arian bishops pronounced against him a sentence of depo- 
sition, forbidding him to reside at Alexandria, lest his presence should ex- 
cite new disorders there, repeating in their sentence the calumnies which 
had been so fully refuted. 

Constantino, who had refused to see or give audience to our saint on his 
arrival at Constantinople, whom he looked upon as justly condemned by a 
council, sent an order to the bishops of Tyre to adjourn to Jerusalem, for the 
dedication of the church of the holy sepulchre, which he had caused to be 
built there. Arius came thither at this time to the council, with a letter 
from the emperor, and a profession of faith which he had presented to him, 
and which is extant in Socrates. In it the subtle heretic professes his be- 
lief in Christ, " as begotten before all worlds : God the Word, by whom all 
things were made, &c." But neither the word consubstantial, nor any thing 
equivalent to it, was there. The heresiarch had assured the emperor that 
he received the council of Nice, who was thus imposed upon by his hypoc- 
risy ; but he ordered the bishops to examine his profession of faith. The 
Eusebians readily embraced the opportunity which they had long waited 
for, declared Arius orthodox, and admitted him to the communion. St. 
Athanasius, in the mean time, having requested of the emperor, who had re- 



[May 2. 

fused him audience, that his pretended judges might be obliged to confront 
him, and that he might be allowed the liberty to exhibit his complaints 
against them, Constantine sent them an order to come to Constantinople to 
give an account of their transactions at Tyre. But only six, and these the 
most artful of the nmnber, obeyed the summons, namely, Eusebius, Theog- 
nis, Maris, Patrophilus, Ursacius, and Valens. These agreed to attack St. 
Athanasius with a fresh accusation, as they did, charging him with having 
threatened to hinder the yearly transportation of corn from Alexandria to 
Constantinople. This accusation, though protested against by the saint as 
absolutely false and to the last degree improbable, was nevertheless believed 
by Constantine, who expressed his resentment at it, and banished him, in 
consequence, to Triers, then the chief city of the Belgic Gaul. 

The holy man arrived there in the beginning of the year 336, and was 
received with the greatest respect by St. Maximinus, bishop of the place, 
and by Constantine the younger, who commanded there for his father. St. 
Antony and the people of Alexandria wrote to the emperor in favor of their 
pastor : but he answered that he could not despise the judgment of a coun- 
cil.* The saint had the satisfaction to be informed that his church at Alex- 
andria constantly refused to admit Arius. The year after, on Whitsunday, 
the 12th of May, Constantine departed this life, being sixty-three years and 
almost three months old, while he yet wore the Neophyte's white garment 
after his baptism. His historian testifies with what ardor the people offered 
up their prayers to God for his soul.f He was buried in the porch of the 
church of the twelve apostles, which he had founded in Constantinople for 
the burying-place of the emperors and patriarchs, though he had buih that 
of St. Irene for the great church or the cathedral. He would be buried in 
that holy place, according to Eusebius, " that he might deserve to enjoy the 
beneiit of the mystical sacrifice, and the communion of devout prayers."^ 
Constantino's three sons divided the empire, as their father's will directed. 
Constantine, the eldest, had Britain, Spain, Gaul, and all that lies on this 
side the Alps : Constantius, the second son, Thrace, Asia, Egypt, and the 
East : Constans, the youngest, had Italy, Africa, Greece, and lUyricum. 
Constantine, the younger, restored St. Athanasius to his see, sending with 

9 De vita Constant. I. 4, c. 71. 

* St. Jerorn says (in Chron. ad an. 338) that Constantine inclined to the Arian doctrine. But St. Atha- 
nasius and all others, except Lucifer of Cagliarl, expressly affirm that he always adhered to the faith of 
the council of Nice, against which, while he lived, none dur.^t openly appear. When he was deceived 
by Arias and Eusebius, they always persuaded him that they maintained its decisions. If he sometimes 
persecuted St. Athanasius, it was never for his doctrine or faith ; and the Arians forged against him calum- 
nies of another nature when they endeavored to exasperate this prince against hun. This emperor was 
baptized in his last sickness by Eusebius of Nicomedia; but that crafty Arian did not openly discover his 
heresy to him, enjoyed at that time the communion of the Catholic church, and was the diocesan of the 
castle of Anuyron, where he received the sacraments from his hands. Ho had shown great zeal for the 
extinction olf that heresy in the council of Nice. His devotion and sincere piety, his extraordinary zeal 
for the Christian religion, and for the peace of the church, his respect for priests. &c., the many whole- 
some laws which he made in favor of religion, and the great sentiments of piety in which he received 
baptism and the other sacraments, oblige us to e.xcuse some symptoms of vanity m his youth, and with 
the church to speak of his name with gratitude and respect. His heroic virtues atoned for faults and errors 
which true repentance blotted out. That he was imposed upon by the artifices of wicked Arian hypo- 
crites, so far as to harbor suspicions against an Athanasius, was an extreme misfortune, which proved 
favorable to the abettors of heresy, fatal to many, and the ruin of his son Constantuts, and of his own 
sister, Constantia. In excuse for Constantine's unjust treatment of St. Athanasius, we ought to reflect 
how often princes are obliged to see with the eyes of others, and how ditiicult it frequently is to them, 
when surrounded with flatterers, to come to the knowledge of the truth. But God opened the eyes of this 
emperor before his death, with regard to the innocence of his holy servant: he accordingly gave orders in 
his last illness that he should be recalled from his banishment, in which he had then lived one year and 
some months ; but as this could not be put in e.xecution before the middle erf the year 338, the contmu- 
ance of his e.xile was one year and four months. . . . 

t Innumerabilis popukis una cum sacerdotibus Del, non sine gemitu ac lacrymis, pro imperatons anima 
preces ofterebant Deo, gratissimum pio principi otRcium exhibentes. In hoc etiam Deus prolixam erga 
famuluifl suum benevolentiam declaravit; quippe quod maxime ambierat, locum juxta Apo.stolorum nie- 
moriam ei concesserit, ut anims iliius tabernaculum Apostolici nominis atque honoris consortio frueretur, 
divinisque c8eremoniis, ex mystico sacrificio et sanctarum precura communione potiri mereretur. Eus. 1. 4, 
Vit. Const, c. 11, ed. Vales. 

May 2.] s. athanasius, b. d. 217 

him a letter filled with high commendations of the holy prelate, and expres- 
sions of great respect for his sanctity, and of indignation against his adver- 
saries. The saint passed through Syria, and was received by his flock 
with a joy and pomp equal to the triumph of an emperor. 

The city of Alexandria was situate within the jurisdiction of Constantius, 
whom the Arians had gained over to their party without much difficulty. 
These heretics accused St. Athanasius afresh to the three emperors for 
raising tumults and seditions upon his return, for committing violences and 
murder, and selling, for his own private use, the corn which Constantine had 
destined for the support of widows and ecclesiastics in those countries 
where corn did not grow ; but the attestations of the bishops who had re- 
ceived it in Lybia justified him, and covered his accusers with confusion. 
Constantine and Constans sent away their deputies with disgrace : but Con- 
stantius being met at Antioch by Eusebius of Nicomedia, and others of his 
party, was easily persuaded into the belief of this last head of the accusa- 
tion, and prevailed upon to grant them leave to choose a new bishop of 
Alexandria. They lost no time, but, assembling at Antioch, named one 
Pistus to that see, an Egyptian priest of their sect, who, together with the 
bishop that ordained him, had been condemned by St. Alexander and by the 
council of Nice : but pope Julius rejected his commimion, and all other 
Catholic churches pronounced anathemas against him ; nor was he ever 
able to get possession of the patriarchal chair. St. Athanasius called a 
council of about a hundred bishops, at Alexandria, to defend the Catholic 
faith : after which he repaired to Rome to pope Julius, to whom this coun- 
cil sent letters and deputies. Here the pope acquitted him in a council of 
fifty bishops, held in 341, and confirmed him in his see : but he was obliged 
to continue at Rome three years, during which the Arians carried on every 
thing by violence in the East. The same year a council met at Antioch to 
the vdedication of the great church, called the Golden church, and framed 
twenty-five canons of discipline. After the departure of the orthodox pre- 
lates, the Arians framed a canon levelled against St. Athanasius, that if a 
bishop, who had been deposed in a council, whether justly or unjustly, 
should return to his church without the authority of a greater council than 
that which had deposed him, he should never hope to be re-established, nor 
have his cause admitted to a hearing. They then named Gregory, a Cap- 
padocian, and placed him by force of arms in the see of Alexandria, in 341. 
The emperor Constans, in 345, invited St. Athanasius to Milan ; and, by 
earnest letters, obliged his brother Constantius to join with him in assem- 
bling a general council of the East and West at Sardica, in Illyricum. It 
met in May, 347, and consisted of three hundred bishops of the West, and 
seventy-six of the East, according to Socrates and Sozomen ; but, accord- 
ing to St. Athanasius, only of one hundred and seventy, besides the Euse- 
bians ; which agrees nearly with Theodoret, who reckons them in all two 
hundred and fifty. They were collected out of thirty-five provinces, besides 
the Orientals. This is reputed a general council, and is proved such by 
Natalis Alexander, though commonly looked upon only as an appendix to 
that of Nice. St. Athanasius, Marcellus of Ancyra, and Asclepas of Gaza, 
were acquitted. They and some others out of the eastern empire were 
present. But the Arian Orientals made a body apart, being fourscore in 
number, who having formed several assemblies in certain places by the 
way, on their arrival at Sardica, refused, as they had agreed before they 
came, to join the other prelates ; alleging the presence of Athanasius, and 
other such frivolous pretences ; and at length, upon an intimation of the 
threats of the synod, if they did not appear, and if the Eusebians did not 
justify themselves of the matters laid to their charge, they all fled by night, 

VOL. II. — 28 

218 S. ATHANASIUS, B. D. [MaY 2. 

and held a pretended council at Philippopolis, as St. Hilary, in his frag- 
ments, and Socrates testify. Dr. Cave alleges that they dated their acts at 
Sardica : but this they did only to usurp the venerable name of that synod : 
for at the same time they quote the synodal epistle of the prelates who re- 
mained at Sardica, before the date of which epistle all historians testify that 
they had left that city. The true council excommunicated the chiefs of the 
Eusebians, with Gregory the Cappadocian, forbidding all Catholic bishops 
to hold communication with them.* This council sent two deputies to Con- 
stantius to press the execution of its decrees. The emperor Constans wrote 
to him also, both before and after the council, to acquaint him, that, unless 
he restored Athanasius to his see, and punished his calumniators, he would 
do it by force of arms. Gregory the Cappadocian, who had, with the Arian 
governors, exercised a most bloody persecution against the Catholics, and 
among others had caused to be beaten to death the holy confessor St. Pota- 
mon, dying four months after the council of Sardica, facilitated our saint's 
return to Alexandria, and deprived the emperor of all pretexts for hindering 
or delaying it. Constantius had also upon his hands an unsuccessful war 
against the Persians, and dreaded the threats of a civil war from his brother. 
Therefore he wrote thrice to the holy prelate, entreating him to hasten his 
return to Alexandria. St. Athanasius, at the request of Constans, went first 
to him, then residing in Gaul, and probably at Milan, and thence to Rome, 
to take leave of pope Julius and his church. He took Antioch on his way 
home, where he found Constantius, who treated him with great courtesy, 
and only desired that he would allow the Arians one church in Alexandria. 
The saint answered, that he hoped, that, in that case, the same favor might 
be granted to the Catholics at Antioch, who adhered to Eustathius : but this 
not being relished by the Arians, Constantius insisted no longer on that 
point, but recommended Athanasius in very strong terms to his governors in 
Egypt. In the mean time, the zealous and pious emperor Constans was 
treacherously slain by Magnentius, in Gaul, in January, 350. Nevertheless, 
Constantius restored Athanasius, who immediately assembled a council at 
Alexandria, and confirmed the decrees of that of Sardica. St. Maximus did 
the same in a numerous synod at Jerusalem. Many Arian bishops on this 
occasion retracted their calumnies against the holy man, and also their here- 
sy, among whom were Ursacius and Valens : but they soon returned to the 

Magnentius usurped the empire in Italy, Gaul, and Africa, and Vetrannio 
in Pannonia. Constantius marched into the West against them. He made 
himself master of Vetrannio's person by a stratagem, and his army defeated 
Magnentius, near Mursa, in Pannonia, in 351, and that tyrant fell soon after, 
by his own sword. While Constantius resided at Sirmium, in 351, a coun- 
cil was held in that city, consisting chiefly of oriental bishops, most of them 
Arians. Photinus, bishop of that see, who renewed the heresy of Sabellius, 
and affirmed Christ to be no more than a mere man, having been already 
condemned by two councils at Milan, was here excommunicated, deposed, and 
banished by the emperor. The profession of faith drawn up in this synod, 
is commonly esteemed orthodox, and called the first confession of Sirmium. 
The Arians had never ceased to prepossess the credulous emperor against 
Athanasius, whose active zeal was their terror ; and that prince was no 
sooner at liberty, by seeing the whole empire in his own hands, than he be- 

* This council of Sardica decrees that the appeal of a bishop deposed in his own province, to the bishop 
of Rome, be always allowed, and that the pope may either refuse to re-examine the cause, if he thinks 
that superfluous, or depute bishops of a neighboring province, or send persons from Korne to determine it, 
(Can. 3, 4, 7.) This was no new law; but a confirmation of that which had been established from the 
beginning; and, as a proof of it, we see that St. Athanasius had, before this, appealed to pope Julius, and 
been acquitted by him at Rome ; nor had the Eusebians themselves found fault with the procedure. 

May 2.] S. ATHANASIUS, B. D. 219 

gan again to persecute him. He procured him to be condemned by certain 
Arian bishops, at Aries, in 353, and again at Milan, in 355, where he de- 
clared himself his accuser, and banished the Catholic bishops who refused 
to subscribe his condemnation, as SS. Eusebius of Vercelli, Dionysius of 
Milan, Paulinus of Triers, &c. He sent a chamberlain to obtain of pope 
Liberius the confirmation of this unjust sentence: but he rejected the propo- 
sal with indignation, though enforced with presents and threats. Liberius 
not only refused the presents which were brought him, but, when the mes- 
senger sought means to deposite them, as an offering in St. Peter's church, 
unknown to the pope, he threw them out of doors. Constantius hereupon 
sent for him under a strict guard to Milan, where, in a conference, recorded 
by Theodoret, he boldly told Constantius that Athanasius had been acquitted 
at Sardica, and his enemies proved calumniators and impostors, and that it 
was unjust to condemn a person who could not be legally convicted of any 
crime : the emperor was reduced to silence on every article ; but being the 
more out of patience, ordered him, unless he complied within three days, to 
go into banishment to Bercea, in Thrace. He sent him, indeed, five hun- 
dred pieces of gold to bear his charges, but Liberius refused them, saying, 
he might bestow them on his flatterers : as he did also a like present from 
the empress, bidding the messenger learn to believe in Christ, and not to 
persecute the church of God. After the three days were expired, he de- 
parted into exile, in 356. Constantius, going to Rome to celebrate the 
twentieth year of his reign, in 357, the ladies joined in a petition to him 
that he would restore Liberius, who had been then two years in banishment. 
He assented, upon condition that he should comply with the bishops then at 
court. About this time Liberius began to sink under the hardships of his exile, 
and his resolution was shaken by the continual solicitations of Demophilus, 
the Arian bishop of Beroea, and of Fortunatian, the temporizing bishop of 
Aquileia. He was so far softened by listening to flatteries and suggestions, 
to which he ought to have stopped his ears with horror, that he yielded to 
the snare laid for him, to the great scandal of the church. He subscribed 
the condemnation of St. Athanasius, and a confession, or creed, which had 
been framed by the Arians at Sirmium, though their heresy was not express- 
ed in it ; and he wrote to the Arian bishops of the East, that he had re- 
ceived the true Catholic faith which many bishops had approved at Sir- 
mium.* The fall of so great a prelate, and so illustrious a confessor, is a ter- 
rifying example of human weakness, which no one can call to mind without 
trembling for himself. St. Peter fell by a presumptuous confidence in his 
own strength and resolution; that we may learn that every one stands only 

* Liberius fell by a prevarication and notorious scandal : but not by heresy. There were three confes- 
sions of faith or creeds, compiled by the Arians, at Sirmium. The first, framed in the council of Sirmium, 
in 351, against Photinus, was orthodox in its terms; though the word consubstantial was omitted in it. 
This was drawn up by the oriental bishops, who alone composed that council ; the Vilest, except Pannonia, 
being then subject to Magnentius. The second confession was made at Sirmium, in 357, when Constan- 
tius arrived there from Rome ; only Valens, Ursacius, and Germinius, are named as concerned in it: and 
Ojius of Cordova, and Potamius of Lisbon, as subscribing to it : for Osius, after most zealously maintaining 
the faith, was vanquished by tortures, and unhappily fell, but died penitent, in Spain, within a year after, as 
St. Athanasius assures us. This second creed openly expressed the Arian impiety, and forbade any men- 
tion to be made either of unity or of likeness of substance in Christ with the Father: for the Catholics 
called Christ of the same substance as the Father: the Semi- Arians of like substance; the Anoma?ans, or 
rank Arians, entirely unlike in substance : the last-mentioned were also called Eunomians, from one of the 
chief of that sect. In 359, a third confession was published by the Arians at Sirmium, in which Christ is 
said to be alike in substance in all things. This third contains clearly the Semi-Arian heresy; and was 
made two years after the fitU of Liberius. Nor could he have subscribed the second, of which the very 
authors were immediately ashamed, so that it was no more mentioned ; and it was framed by very few, 
and those all western bishops. Whereas St. Hilary testifies, (Fragm. 6, p. 1357,) that Liberius signed the 
confession which had been made by twenty-two bishops, of which number Demophilis was one, which 
agrees to the first. Hence Liberius, writing to the orienUU bishops, says, he had signed their confession 
of faith, or that made by them ; and that it was presented to him by Demophilus. He moreover calls it 
Catholic. All which circumstances concur in the first. Sozomen assures us, (1. 4, c. 15,) that, when he 
arrived at Rome, he anathematized all who did not confess the Son like to the Father in all things ; 
which was expressly condemning the second creed. How then could he have subscribed to it so short a 
time before ■! 

220 S. ATHANASIUS, B. D. [MaY 2, 

by humility. Liberius, however, speedily imitated the repentance of the 
prince of the apostles. And he no sooner had recovered his see, than he 
again loudly declared himself the patron of justice and truth : and, when the 
council of Rimini was betrayed into a prevarication, which was construed in 
favor of x'^.rianisra, Liberius vigorously opposed the danger, and by his 
strenuous active zeal, averted the desolation with which it threatened many 
churches, as Theodoret testifies.'" 

Constantius, not content to have banished the bishops who favored Atha- 
nasius, also threatened and punished all the officers and magistrates who 
refused to join in communion with the Arians. While his presence in the 
West filled it with confusion and acts of tyranny, St. Athanasius was at 
Alexandria, offering up to God most fervent prayers for the defence of 
the faith. Constantius next turned all his rage against him and against the 
city of Alexandria, sending orders to Syrianus, the duke, that is, general of 
the troops of Egypt, to persecute the archbishop and his clergy. He like- 
wise dispatched two notaries to see his orders executed. They endeavored 
to oblige the saint to leave the city. He answered, that he had returned to 
his see, and had resided there till that time by the emperor's express order; 
and therefore could not leave it without a command of equal authority, 
(which they owned was not in their power to produce,) or unless Syrianus, 
the duke, or Maximus, the prefect or governor, would give him such an 
order in writing, which neither of them would do. Syrianus, convinced of 
the justice of his plea, promised to give neither him nor the public assem- 
blies of his people any further disturbance, without express injunction from 
the emperor to that effect. Twenty-three days after this solemn promise, 
confirmed by oath, the faithful were assembled at the church of St. Theonas, 
where they passed the night in prayer, on account of a festival to be cele- 
brated the next day. Syrianus, conducted by the Arians, surrounded the 
church at midnight, with above five hundred soldiers, who having forced 
open the doors, committed the greatest disorders. The patriarch, however, 
kept his chair ; and, being determined not to desert his flock in their dis- 
tress, ordered a deacon to sing the 136th psalm, and the people to repeat 
alternately: For his mercy endureth forever. After this, he directed them to 
depart and make the best of their way to their own houses, protesting that 
he would be the last that left that place. Accordingly, when the greatest 
part of the people were gone out, and the rest were following, the clergy and 
monks that were left forced the patriarch out along with them; whom 
(though almost stifled to death) they conveyed safe through the guards and 
secured him out of their reach. Numbers on this occasion were trampled 
to death by the soldiers, or slain by their darts. This relation is given by 
the saint in his apology for his flight, and in his History of the Arians, ad- 
dressed to the monks. The next step of the Arians was to fix a trusty man 
of their party in this important see : and the person they pitched upon was 
one George, who had been victualler to the army, one of the most brutish 
and cruel of men : who was accordingly placed in the patriarchal chair. 
His roughness and savage temper made him seem the fittest instrument to 
oppress the Catholics, and he renewed all the scenes of bloodshed and vio- 
lence of which Gregory had set the example, as Theodoret relates. Our 
holy bishop hereupon retired into the deserts of Egypt : but was not per- 
mitted to enjoy long the conversation of the devout inhabitants of those parts, 
who, according to the expression of St. Gregory Nazianzen, lived only to 
God. His enemies having set a price upon his head, the wildernesses were 
ransacked by soldiers in quest of him, and the monks persecuted, who were 
determined rather to suffer death than to discover where he lay concealed. 

10 Theodoret, Hist. 1. 2, c. 17. 

May 2.] 



The saint, apprehensive of their suffering on his account, left them, and re- 
tired to a more remote and solitary place, where he had scarce air to breathe 
in, and saw none but the person that suppUed him with necessaries and 
brought him his letters, though not without great danger and difficulty.* 

Constantius died on the 3d of November, in 361 ; a prince whose 
memory will be eternally infamous for his heresy, and persecution of the 
church, his dissimulation, levity, and inconstancy, his weakness of mind, 
and the treacherous murder of all his uncles. The year following, George, 
the Arian usurper of the see of Alexandria, was massacred by the pagans 
for his cruelty. Thus was Athanasius delivered from all his chief enemies. 
Julian the Apostate, on coming to the empire, granted all the bishops who 
had been banished by Constantius the liberty to return to their respective 
churches ; not out of any good- will he bore them, but with a view, as his 
own historian writes, to increase their divisions by this license, and lessen 
his fears for their uniting against him : also to reflect an odium on the 
memory and proceedings of his predecessor. Most of the orthodox bishops 
took their advantage of this permission ; and the usurper of the see of 
Alexandria being massacred by the pagans in July, 362, our saint returned 
to his flock in August, after an absence of above six years. His entrance 
was a kind of triumph of the Catholic faith over its enemies, and the citi- 
zens hereupon drove the Arians out of all the churches. 

In 359, the council of Rimini had the weakness so far to yield to the 
artifices of the Arians, as to omit in the creed the word consubstantial. 
The prelates were afterwards surprised to see the triumph of the Arians on 
that account, and were struck with remorse for their unwary condescension. 
Their fall was owing, not to any error in faith, but to a want of courage 
and insight into the artifices of the Arians. Nevertheless, Lucifer of 
Cagliarijt and some other bishops, pretended, by a Pharisaical pride, that 
the lapsed, notwithstanding their repentance, could no longer be admitted 

* This seems to have given occasion to the fable of Rufinus, that the saint lived several years hidden 
in the bottom of a well-, a eireumstance which would not have been omitted either by the saint himself, 
or by Saint Gregory of Nazianzen. 

t Lucifer, bishop of Cagliari, the metropolis of Sardinia, distinguished himself for his contempt of the 
world, and his zeal against the Arians. This lie exerted with great warjnth in the defence of St. Atha- 
nasius, in the council of Milan, in 355, first in the great church, afterwards in the palace of the emperor 
Constantius, and in his presence; fur which he was banished to Germanieia, in Syria, of which city 
Eodoxus, one of the most implacable chiefs of the Arian heresy, was bishop. From thence, Lucifer was 
some time after removed into Palestine, to Eleutheropolis, Eutychius, bishop of that see, being also an 
Arian. There he wrote his first book against Constantius, which lie was bold enough to send to that 
emperor, and afterwards to confess himself the ajithor of it to Florentius, gi-cat master of the jjalace, who 
was ordered by the emperor to put the question to him. In this book he shows that the emperor ought 
not to intermeddle in ecclesiastical matters; and he compares him with the worst of lyrants. In his 
sacond boob against Constantius, hs justifies St, Athanasius. Saint .lemm and other fathers commend 
his writings against Constantius ; but it were to be wished that his terms had been more respectful. By 
a fresh order of this emperor, the place of his banishment wa^ again changed, and he was removed into 
Thebais in Egypt, where he remained till the death of Constantius. In his hook, On Apostate Kinss. he 
shovvs that wicked tyrants have often enjoyed vi'orldly prosperity, which Constantius thought a proof in 
himself that he was favored by heaven. Lucifer's other books, On Not Sparing Sinners, or On the 
Obligation of boldly reproving them : On not Communicating with Heretics, and that we are to die for the 
Son of God, are written with the sajjie harshness of style. 

The trophies which Lucifer gained by his zeal, were blasted by the scandal of an unhappy schi?m to 
which he gave birth. After the death of Constantius, Lucifer repaired to ,\ntioeh with St. Eusebius of 
Vercelli. St, Eustathius, the bishop of Antioch, ivhom the Arians had banished, being then dead, tlie 
election of St. Meletius was canonical; yet some Catholics rejected it, because the Arians had joined 
in choosing him. TheCathoiics had crMitinued to adhere to their bishop, St. Eustathius, during his ban- 
ishment: after his death, those who schismalically separated themselves from the communion of Mele- 
tius were called Eustathians ; and Lucifer arriving at Antioch, put himself at their head, ordained 
Paulinus their bishop, and separated hims«lf from the communion of St. Eusebius, because he disap- 
proved Jhe ordination of Paulinus. Thus Lucifer laid the foundation of the falal schism at Antioch. 
Another schism of which he was the author, was stUl more notoriously unjust, and carried by him to 
greater lengths. St, Athanasius, in his fanioas council at Aleiandria. in 3G2, allowed that the bishops 
who at Rimini had been drawn into the snare of the Arians, and into an omission favorable to their 
heresy, and all others who had been engaged in a like fault, should, upon their repentance, be suffered to 
retain their sees. This indulgence so far displeasevl Lucifer, that he refused to communicate with those 
penitent bishops, and with those who received them, that is, with the pope and the whole Catholic 
charch. Many were engaged with him in this schism, at Antioch. at Rome, in several other parts of 
Italy, in Egypt, and Palestine, but chiefiy in Sardinia and Spain. The author survived nine years after 
his return to Cagliari, and seems to have continue<l obstinate to his death, which happened in 371, 
according to St. Jerom in his chronicle. The ancients only reproach him witii the crime of his scltismi 

222 S. ATHANASIUS, B. D. [MaY 2. 

by the church to communion in the rank of bishops or priests. St. Atha- 
riasius, on the contrary, being filled with the spirit of tenderness which our 
divine Redeemer exercised and recommended to be shown towards sincere 
penitents, condemned this excessive severity : and in 362, assembled a 
council at Alexandria ; at which assisted St. Eusebius of Vercelli, in his 
return from his banishment in Thebais, St. Asterius of Petra, &c. This 
synod condemned those who denied the divinity of the Holy Ghost, and 
decreed that the authors of the Arian heresy should be deposed, and upon 
their repentance received only to the lay-communion ; but that those 
prelates who had fallen into it only by compulsion, and for a short tim'e, 
should, upon their repentance, retain their sees. This decision was adopted 
in Macedonia, Achaia, Spain, Gaul, &c., and approved at Rome.'"' For 
we learn from St. Hilary, that Liberius, who died in 366, had established 
this disciple in Italy, and we have his letter to the Catholic bishops of 
that country, in which he approves what had been regulated in this regard 
in Achaia and Egypt, and exhorts them to exert their zeal against the 
authors of their fault, in proportion to the grief they felt for having 
committed it.'^ 

Theodoret says that the priests of the idols complained to Julian, that, 
if Athanasius was suffered to remain in Alexandria, there would not remain 
one adorer of the gods in that city. Julian, having received this advice, 
answered their complaint, telling them, that, though he had allowed the 
Galileans (his name of derision for Christians) to return to their own 
country, he had not given them leave to enter on the possession of their 
churches. And that Athanasius, in particular, who had been banished by 
the orders of several emperors, ought not to have done this: he therefore 
ordered him immediately to leave the city on the receipt of his letter, under 
the penalty of a severer punishment. He even dispatched a messenger to 
kill him. The saint comforted his flock, and having recommended them to 
the ablest of his friends, with an assurance that this storm would soon 
blow over, embarked in a boat on the river for Thebais. He who had 
orders to kill him, hearing that he was fled, sailed after him with great 
expedition. The saint having timely notice sent him of it, was advised 
by those that accompanied him to turn aside into the deserts that bordered 
on the Nile. But St. Athanasius ordered them to tack about, and fall down 
the river towards Alexandria; "to show," said he, "that our protector is 
more pow^erful than our persecutor." Meeting the pursuivant, he asked 
them whether they had seen Athanasius as they came down the river, and 
was answered that he was not far off, and that if they made haste, they 
would quickly come up with him. Upon this the assassin continued the 
pursuit, while St. Athanasius got safe and unsuspected to Alexandria, 
where he lay hid for some time. But upon a fresh order coming from 
Julian for his death, he withdrew into the deserts of Thebais, going from 
place to place to avoid falling into the hands of his enemy. St. Theodorus, 
of Tabenna, being come to visit him, while at Antinoe, with St. Pammon, 
put an end to his apprehensions on this score, by assuring him, on a 
revelation God had favored him with, that Julian had just then expired in 
Persia, where he was killed on the 27th of June, in 363. The holy 
hermit acquainted him also that the reign of his Christian successor would 
be very short. This was Jovian, who being chosen emperor, refused to 

11 Cone. t. 7, pp. 73 and 680. 12 S. Hil. fragin. 13, p. 1337 ; Constant, ep. decret. 13, p. i.i9. 

so that we are to understand of his followers, what Theodoret says, that after his ret'irn into Sai-dinis, 
he added to schism certain maxims contrary to those of the Catholic church. See Theodoret, Hist. Eccl. 
1. 3, c. 2. St. Jerom, Dial. adv. Luciferian. St. Ambrose de obitu Satyri, p. 316. Socrates, 1. 3, c. 9. 
Sozonien, 1. 5, c. 13 : and among the moderns, Tilleniont, t. 7, p. 514 ; Ceillier, t. 5, p. 384. 

May 2.] 



accept that dignity till the army had declared for the Christian religion. 
He was no sooner placed upon the throne but he wrote to St. Athanasius, 
cancelling the sentence of his banishment, and praying him to resume the 
government of his church, adding high commendations of his virtue and 
unshaken constancy. St. Athanasius waited not for the emperor's orders 
to quit his retreat, but on being apprized, as before related, of the death of 
his persecutor, appeared on a sudden, and resumed his usual functions in 
the midst of his people, who were joyfully surprised at the sight of him. 
The emperor, well knowing that he was the chief person that had stood up 
in defence of the Christian faith, besought him, by a second letter, to send 
him a full account in writing of its doctrines, and some rules for his conduct 
and behavior in what regarded the affairs of the church. St. Athanasius 
called a synod of learned bishops, and returned an answer in their name ; 
recommending, that he should hold inviolable the doctrine explained in the 
council of Nice, this being the faith of the apostles, which had been 
preached in all ages, and was generally professed throughout the whole 
Christian world, " some few excepted," says he, " who embrace the opin- 
ions of Arius." The Arians attempted in vain to alter his favorable dis- 
positions towards the saint by renewing their old calumnies. Not satisfied 
with his instructions by letters, he desired to see him ; and the holy bishop 
was received by him at Antioch with all possible tokens of aifection and 
esteem ; but after giving him holy advice, he hastened back to Alexandria. 
The good emperor Jovian reigned only eight months, dying on the 17th of 
February, in 364. Valentinian, his successor, chose to reside in the 
West, and making his brother Valens partner in the empire, assigned to 
him the East. Valens was inclined to Arianism, and openly declared in 
favor of it, in 367, when he received baptism from the hands of Eudoxius, 
bishop of the Arians, at Constantinople. The same year he published an 
edict for the banishment of all those bishops who had been deprived of 
their sees by Constantius. Theodoret says this was the fifth time that St. 
Athanasius had been driven from his church. He had been employed in 
visiting the churches, monasteries, and deserts of Egypt. Upon the news 
of this new tempest, the people of Alexandria rose in tumults, demanding 
of the governor of the province that they might be allowed to enjoy their 
bishop, and he promised to write to the emperor. Saint Athanasius, seeing 
the sedition appeased, stole privately out of the town, and hid himself in 
the country in the vault in which his father was interred, where he lay four 
months, according to Sozomen. The very night after he withdrew, the 
governor and the general of the troops took possession of the church in 
which he usually performed his functions ; but were not able to find him. 
As soon as his departure was known, the city was filled with lamentation, 
the people vehemently calling on the governor for the return of their 
pastor. The fear of a sedition moved Valens at length to grant them th&,t 
satisfaction, and to write to Alexandria that he might abide there in Deace, 
in the free possession of the churches. In 369, the holy patriarch con- 
vened at Alexandria a council of ninety bishops, in whose name he wrote 
to the bishops of Africa to beware of any surprise from those who were 
for preferring the decrees of the council of Rimini to those of Nice. 

The continued scenes of perfidy, dissimulation, and malice which the 
history of Arianism exhibits to our view, amaze and fill us with horror. 
Such superlative impiety and hypocrisy would have seemed incredible, had 
not the facts been attested by St. Athanasius himself, and by all the his- 
torians of that age. They were likewise of so public a nature, having 
been performed before the eyes of the whole world, or proved by ocular 
demonstration in the Arians' own synods, that St. Athanasius could never 



[May 2. 

have inserted them in his apology, addressed to these very persons and to 
the whole world, could any circumstances have been disproved, or even 
called in question. By such base arts and crimes did the Arian blasphemy 
spread itself, like a spark of fire set to a train of gunpowder ; and, being 
supported by the whole power of a crafty and proud emperor, seemed to 
threaten destruction to the church of Christ, had it not been built on foun- 
dations which, according to the promises of Him who laid them, all the 
power of hell shall never be able to shake. During more than three 
hundred years it had stood the most violent assaults of the most cruel and 
powerful persecutors, who had bent the whole power of the empire to extir- 
pate, if it had been possible, the Christian name. But the more it was 
depressed the more it grew and flourished, and the blood of martyrs was a 
seed which pushed forth and multiplied with such a wonderful increase, as 
to extend its shoots into every part of the then known world, and to fill 
every province and every rank of men in the Roman empire. By the con- 
version of the emperors themselves, it appeared triumphant over all the 
efforts of hell. But the implacable enemy of man's salvation did not desist 
in his attacks. His restless envy and malice grew more outrageous by his 
defeats ; and shifting his ground, he stirred up his instruments within the 
bowels of the church itself, and excited against it a storm, in which hell 
seemed to vomit out all its poison, and unite all the efforts of its malice. 
But these vain struggles again terminated in the most glorious triumph of 
the church. In those perilous times, God raised up many holy pastors, 
whom he animated with his spirit, and strengthened in the defence of his 
truth. Among these St. Athanasius was the most illustrious champion. 
By his undaunted courage, and vmparalleled greatness of soul under the 
most violent persecutions, he merited a crown equal to that of the most 
glorious martyrs : by his erudition, eloquence, and writings he holds an 
illustrious place among the principal doctors of the church ; and by the 
example of his virtue, by which he rivalled the most renowned anchorets of 
the deserts, and the most holy confessors, he stemmed the torrent of scandal 
and iniquity which threatened to bear down all before it. 

St. Gregory Nazianzen gives the following portrait of his virtues in private 
life. " He was most humble and lowly in mind, as his virtue was most 
sublime and inimitable. He was most courteous to all, and every one had 
easy access to him ; he was meek, gentle, compassionate, amiable in his 
discourse, but much more so in his life ; of an angelical disposition ; mild 
in his reproofs, and instructive in his commendations ; in both which he 
obserA'^ed such even measures, that his reproof spoke the kindness of a 
father, and his commendation the authority of a master ; and neither was 
his indulgence over tender, nor his severity harsh. His life supplied the 
place of sermons, and his sermons prevented correction. In him all ranks 
might find enough to admire, and enough to imitate ; one might commend 
his unwearied austerity in fasting and prayer ; another his perseverance in 
watchings and the divine praises ; a third his admirable care of the poor ; 
a fourth his courage in checking the injustice of the rich, or his condescen- 
sion to the humble." Thus St. Gregory Nazianzen,'^ who says he was a 
loadstone to dissenters, drawing them to his opinion, unless hardened in 
malice ; and always at least raising in them a secret reverence and venera- 
tion for his person ; but that he was an adamant to his persecutors ; no 
more capable of impressions against justice, than a rock of marble is of 
yielding to any slight touch. After innumerable combats, and as many 
great victories, this glorious saint, having governed the church of Alexan- 

" Or. 21, p. 378. 

May 2.] s. athanasius, b. d, 225 

dria forty-six years, was called to a life exempt from labor and suffering, 
on the 2d of May, on a Thursday, according to the Oriental Chronicle of 
the Copthes, in the year 373, as is clear from the same author, St. Proterius, 
and St. Jerom ; not in 371, as Socrates mistakes.* St. Gregory Nazianzen 
thus describes his death : " He ended his life in a holy old age, and went 
to keep company with his fathers, the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and 
martyrs, who had fought valiantly for the truth, as he had done : and to 
comprise his epitaph in few words, he departed this life with far greater 
honor and glory than what he had received in his more than triumphant 
entries into Alexandria, when he returned fi'om his banishments : so much 
was his death lamented by all good men ; and the immortal glory of his 
name remained imprinted in their hearts." He desires the saint " to look 
down upon him from heaven, to favor and assist him in the government of 
his flock, and to preserve it in the true faith : and if, for the sins of the 
world, heretics were to prevail against it, to deliver him from these evils, 
and to bring him, by his intercession, to enjoy God in his company." 

The humility, modesty, and charity of this great saint ; his invincible 
meekness towards his enemies, who were the most implacable and basest 
of men, and the heroic fortitude, patience, and zeal, by which he triumphed 
over the persecutions of almost the whole world confederated against him, 
and of four emperors, Constantine, Constantius, Julian, and Valens, three of 
whom employed wiles, stratagems, hypocrisy, and sometimes open force to 
destroy him : these, I say, and all other eminent virtues, have rendered his 
name venerable in the church to the latest ages, which he ceases not to in- 
struct and edify by his writings. f 

* The Greeks honor St. Athanasius on the 2(1 of May, because his relics were on that day deposited in 
the ciiurch of St. Sophia at Constantinople, when they were translated thither from Alexandria, as their 
Ephemerides, in their Synaxarium, expressly mention. They also commemorate him on the 38th of 
January, whftch Jos. Assemani (in Kalend. Univ. t. 6, p. 299) proves, against Papebroke, to have been the 
day of his death, as the Menffia e-xpressly assures us. The Greeks join with him, on the 18th of January, 
St. Cyril, because he was bishop of the same city ; lhoui;h he died in June, on the 9lh of which month 
he is again commemorated in the MenEca, but on the 27th in the Menology of the emperor Basil. See 
Jos. Assemani, ad 2 Maij, t. pp. 301, 302, 303, against the diflereut opinions both of Bollandus and 

t I'hotius observes, (Cod. 140,) that the diction and style of St. Athanasius is clear, majestic, full of 
deep sense, strength, and solid reasoning, without any thing redundant or superfluous. He seems to hold 
the next place in eloquence after St. Basil, St. Gregory Nazianzen, and St. Chrysostom. Erasmus even 
admires his style above that of all the other fiUhers, saying, it hath nothing rugged or difficult, like tliat of 
Tertullian, nothing labored or embarrassed, like that of St. Hilary, nothing studied, like that of St. Greg- 
ory Nazianzen ; no windings and turnings, like that of St. Austin, or of St. Chrysostom ; for it is every- 
where beautiful, elegant, easy, florid, and admirably adapted to whatever subject lie treats : though in 
some of his works it wants the finishings which mure leisure would have given it. Cosmas, an ancient 
monk, used to say, " When you find any thing of the works of St. Athanasius, if you have no paper, write 
it on your clothes." (Prat. Spir. c. 40.) 

The first of his works is, his Discourse against the Pagans. In it he displays a most extensive human 
learning, shows the origin, progress, and folly of idolatry: and raises men to the knowledge of the true 
God, first from the sentiment of their own soul, and secondly, from visible things. The discourse On the 
Incarnation, is a continuation of the same work, and proves, first, that the world must have had its begin- 
ning by creation ; and secondly, that only the Son of God, by his incarnation, could have delivered man 
from the death which he had incurred by sin. Tlie saint composed these two pieces before the origin of 
Arianism, about the year 318, when he was not above twenty-two years of age. The Exposition of Faith 
is an explanation of the mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation, against the Arians. The treatise on 
those words : Ml things have been given me by my Father ; the Letter to the Orthodox Bishops, against the 
illegal intrusion of Gregory into his see, in 341 ; his Apology against the Arians, consisting chiefly of au- 
thentic memoirs for his own justification against iheir slanders, composed after his second exile, in 351 ; 
his treatise, On the Decrees of Nice, against the Eusebians ; his Apology for the Doctrine of St. Dionysiiis 
of Alexandria, whom the Arians quoted in favor of their error ; and his circular letter to the bishops of 
Egypt and Lyhia, when George was coming to Alexandria, to intrude himself into his see, were compiled 
against the Arians. His great work against those heretics are, his Four Orations against the Arians. He 
composed them while concealed among the anchorets. Photius admires the beauty, strength, and just 
reasoning of this excellent performance, whicli entirely beats down that heresy ; and says, that from tliis 
fountain St. Gregory Nazianzen and St. Basil the Great drew that torrent of eloquence with which they 
gloriously defended the Catholic faith. Dialectic is employed here with admirable art, but the oracles of 
holy scripture are, as it were, the sinews of the work. Dracontius, a holy abbot, was chosen bishop of 
Herniopolis : but fled and hid himself, refusing to submit to that yoke. Tlie letter of St. Athanasius to 
him is a tender persuasive to accept that charge. His letter to Serapion, bishop of Thnmis, on the death 
of Arius, shows his modesty in the moderation with which he speaks of that tragical misfortune. We 
have four other letters of our saint to the same Serapion, to prove the divinity of the Holy Ghost, written 
in 360, or thereabouts. TheLetter to the Solitaries, in 353, is a confutation of the Arians, with some account 
of the persecution under George. His Apology to the emperor Constantius, written in the deserts, among 
the wild lieasts, in 356, seems the most eloquent and finished piece of all his works. His Apology for his 
flight, in 357, is in merit little inferior to it. He shows that it is lawful, and sometimes even a precept, to 


VOL. II. — 29 



[May 3. 

These and other virtues, Saint Athanasius learned and practised in the 
most heroic degree, by studying them devoutly and assiduously in the sa- 
cred life, and in the divine heart of Jesus. And in the simplicity of faith 
he adored the incomprehensible greatness of the Divinity, his infinite wis- 
dom, justice, and sanctity, with the boundless treasures of his love and mer- 
cy, in the mystery of his adorable Incarnation. If we have a holy ambition 
to improve ourselves in this saving knowledge, in this most sublime and 
truly divine science, which will not only enlighten our understanding, but 
also reform all the affections of our hearts, and be in us a source of un- 
speakable peace, joy, love, light, and happiness, we must study in the same 
school. We must become zealous lovers and adorers of our most amiable 
Redeemer ; we must meditate daily on his admirable life, penetrating into 
the unfathomed abyss of his love, and his perfect sentiments of humility, 
meekness, and every virtue in all his actions, and join our homages with 
those which he paid in his divine heart, and still continues to offer to his 
Father : we must sacrifice to him our affections in transports of joy and 
fervor, adoring, praising, loving, and thanking him, and must continually beg 
his mercy and grace, that we may be replenished with his spirit of humility 
and every virtue ; and, above all, that his love may take absolute possession 
of our hearts, and of all our faculties and powers. " The Son of God," 
says St. Athanasius, " took upon him our poverty and miseries, that he 
might impart to us a share of his riches. His sufferings will render us one 
day impassible, and his death immortal. His tears will be our joy, his bu- 
rial our resurrection, and his baptism is our sanctification, according to what 
he says in his gospel : For them I sanctify myself, that they also may he 
made holy in fruits." 



From St. Cyril of Jerusalem, cat. 10; St. Paulinus, ep. 31, p. 193; St. Sulpicius Severns, St. Ambrose, St. 
Chrysostoii), Rufinus, Theodoret, Socrates, and Sozomen. See Tillemont, t. 7, p. 6, on St. Helena. 

A. D. 326. 

God having restored peace to his church, by exalting Constantino the 
Great to the imperial throne, that pious prince, who had triumphed over his 

fly under persecutions. His treatise On Synods, in 359, gives some account of what had passed in those 
of Seleucia and Rimini. His tome, or Letter, to the church of Antioch, was written by him from his 
council at Alexandria, in 362, to exhort all to union, and to receive the Arians who were converted, only 
requiring from them a profession of the Nicene faith, and of the divinity of the Holy Ghost. The life of 
St. Anthony was written in 365. His letter to the emperor Jovian, two letters to St. Orsisins, abbot of 
Tabenna, and several other epistles, are extant. His book. On the Incarnation and against the Arians, 
proves also the divinity of the Holy Ghost ; and was written after the year 360. His two books against 
Apollinaris, appeared about the year 372. His imperfect commentary On the Psalms shows his extraor 
dinary abilities for that kind of writing. The fragments On St. Matthew are judged genuine, by Mont- 
faucon, (in Collect. Patr.,) but appear doubtful to Tournely and some others. The book, On the Incarnation 
of the Word of God : that. For the Consubstantiality of the Three Persons : that, On Virginity, an excel- 
lent work: the Synopsis of the Scriptures, also very well penned, and judged genuine by Tillemont, &c., 
are usually ranked among his doubtful works. The history of a crucifix bleeding, when pierced by the 
Jews of Berylus, is a mean performance ; Baronius attributes it to one Athanasius of Syria. The Creed 
which bears the name of St. Athanasius, can only deserve that title, because it explains the mystery of 
the Trinity, which he expounded and maintained with such zeal. It was compiled in Latin in the fifth 
century. Dr. Waterland hath made a learned collection of what several judicious critics have written on 
this subject, in his dissertation concerning this Creed. 

May 3.] 



enemies by the miraculous power of the cross, was very desirous of ex- 
pressing his veneration for the holy places which had been honored and 
sanctified by the presence and sufferings of our blessed Redeemer on earth. 
He accordingly came to a resolution to build a magnificent church in the 
city of Jerusalem, as the place which had been most honored by the pres- 
ence, the instructions and miracles, of the Son of God. St. Helena, the 
emperor's mother, out of a desire of visiting the holy places there, under- 
took a journey into Palestine in 326, though at that time near eighty years 
of age : and on her arrival at Jerusalem, was inspired with a great desire 
to find the identical cross on which Christ had suffered for our sins. But 
there was no mark or tradition, even among the Christians, where it lay. 
The heathens, out of an aversion to Christianity, had done what they could 
to conceal the place where our Saviour was buried. They had heaped 
upon it a great quantity of stones and rubbish, besides building a temple to 
Venus ; that those who came thither to adore him, might seem to pay their 
worship to a marble idol representing this false deity. They had moreover 
erected a statue of Jupiter in the place where our Saviour rose from the 
dead, as we are informed by St. Jerom ; which figure continued there from 
the emperor Adrian's time to Constantine's : which precautions of the per- 
secutors show the veneration which Christians paid from the beginning to 
the instruments of our Redemption. Helena, being willing to spare no 
pains to compass her pious design, consulted all people at Jerusalem and 
near it, whom she thought likely to assist her in finding out the cross ; and 
was credibly informed, that if she could find out the sepulchre, she would 
likewise find the instruments of the punishment ; it being always the custom 
among the Jews to make a great hole near the place where the body of the 
criminal was buried, and to throw into it whatever belonged to his execu- 
tion ; looking upon all these things as detestable objects, and which for that 
reason ought to be removed out of sight. The pious empress therefore or- 
dered the profane buildings to be pulled down, the statues to be broken in 
pieces, and the rubbish to be removed ; and upon digging to a great depth, 
they discovered the holy sepulchre, and near it three crosses, also the nails 
which had pierced our Saviour's body, and the title which had been fixed to 
his cross. By this discovery, they understood that one of the three crosses 
was that which they were in quest of, and that the other two belonged to 
the two malefactors between whom our Saviour had been crucified. But, 
whereas the title was found separate from the cross, a difficulty remained to 
distinguish which of the three was that on which our Divine Redeemer 
consummated his sacrifice for the salvation of the world. In this perplexity 
the holy bishop Macarius, knowing that one of the principal ladies of 
the city lay extremely ill, suggested to the empress to cause the three 
crosses to be carried to the sick person, not doubting but God would discover 
which was the cross they sought for. This being done, St. Macarius 
prayed that God would have regard to their faith, and after his prayer, ap- 
plied the crosses singly to the patient, who was immediately and perfectly 
recovered by the touch of one of the three crosses, the other two having 
been tried without effect.' St. Helena, full of joy for having found the 
treasure which she had so earnestly sought and so highly esteemed, built a 
church on the spot, and lodged it there with great veneration, having pro- 
vided an extraordinary rich case for it. She afterwards carried part of it to 
the emperor Constantino, then at Constantinople, who received it with great 
veneration ;* another part she sent or rather carried to Rome, to be placed in 

' Sozomen, Theodoret, Kufinus. 
* It was out of a religious respect to the sacred instrument of the death of Christ, that Constantine, in 



[May 3. 

the church which she built there, called Of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, 
where it remains to this day. The discovery of the cross must have hap- 
pened about the month of May, or early in the spring. For St. Helena went 
the same year to Constantinople, and from thence to Rome, where she died 
in the arms of her son, on the 18th of August, 326, as Pagi demonstrates, 
from Eusebius and Gothefridus. The title was sent by St. Helena, to the 
same church in Rome, and reposited on the top of an arch, where it was 
found in a case of lead, in 1492, as may be read at length in Bozius.^ The 
inscription in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, is in red letters, and the wood v/as 
whitened. Thus it was in 1492 ; but these colors are since faded. Also 
the words Jesus and Judccorum are eaten away. The board is nine, but 
must have been twelve inches long.^* 

2 Tr. de Cruce, 1. 1, c. 2. 

3 See Lipsius de Cruce, 1. 3, c. 14. 

the twentieth year of his reign, forbade the cross to be used in the punishment of malefactors in any part 
of his dominions ; which has Ijeen observed ever since throughout all Christendom. 

* The title kept at our Lady's in Toulouse, is an imitation of this ; but the inscription is in five, whereas 
in tliis it is in three lines. It was the custom of the Romans to cause the crime for which any one was 
condemned, to be written and carried before the criminal to the place of his punishment. Thus Suetonius, 
speaking ol a criminal, says, (in Caligula, c. 33:) "The title which declared the cause of the punishment 
being carried before him." Dio, speaking of another, says, (b. 54:) "With the title in writing, which de- 
clared the caxise of his death." And St. Attains, the martyr at Lyons, " was led about the amphitheatre 
with a tablet borne before him, on which it was written. This is Attains the Christian;" as is related by 
Eusebius. (Hist. b. 5, c. 1.) Pursuant to this Roman custom, Pilate ordered the title, expressive of the 
cause of our Saviour's crucifixion, to be carried before him to the place of execution, as well as to be 
aflixed to the cross. But though he meant it to signify his having brought this punishmentupon himself, 
for having aspired to the sovereign power; yet, by a particular direction of divine providence, (as is de- 
scribed by Prudentius, in elegant verse, Apoth. adv. gentes, v. 381,) it in fact proclaimed him to Jews, 
Greeks, and Romans, what he really was, their true King, — that they might read, and reverence him as 
such. While the malefactor hung bleeding on the cross, it was usual, by means of a sponge, to apply vin- 
egar to his wounds, that, by its astringent qnality, it might serve to stanch the blood in some degree, and 
prevent the criminal being put out of his pain by death sooner than was intended. The holy sponge, 
which served for this purpose at our Lord's crucifixion, is shown at Rome in the church of St. John Late- 
ran, tinged with blood, and held in great veneration. The holy lance which opened his sacred side, is 
kept at Rome, but wants the point. Andrew of Crete says, (de E.xalt. Crucis,) that it was buried together 
with the cross. At least St. Gregory of Tours (1. de Gl. Mart. c. 17) and venerable Bede (de Loc. Sanct. 
c. 2) testify, that in their time it was kept at Jerusalem. For fear of the Saracens, it was buried privately 
at Antioch, in which city it was found, in 1098, under ground, and wrought many miracles, as Robert the 
monk (Hist. Hieros. 1. 7) and many eye-witnesses testify. It was carried first to Jerusalem, and soon after 
to Constantinople. The emperor Baldwin 11. sent the point of it to Venice, by way of pledge for a loan of 
money. St. Lewis, king of France, rcdeeuied this relic, by paying oti' the sum it lay in pledge for, and 
caused it to be conveyed to Paris, where it is still kept in the Holy Chapel. The rest of the lance re- 
mained at Constantinople, after the Turks had taken that city, till, in 1492, tlie sullan Bajazet sent it by an 
ambassador, in a rich beautiful case, to pope Innocent VIII., adding, that the point was in the possession 
of the king of France. 

The crown of thoivis was given by the emperor Baldwin 11. tn St. Lewis, as to his cousin and great bene- 
factor, because the city of Constantinople was no longer a place of security, being sorely pressed by the 
Saracens and Greeks : also in gratitude for his extraordinary contributions to the defence of the eastern 
empire and the holy places. St. Lewis, afterwards, in requital, voluntarily paid oft'a loan which that em- 
peror had borrowed from the Venetians. William of Nangis, Vincent of Beauvais, and other French his- 
torians of that time relate how this sacred treasure was, with great devotion, carried in a sealed case by 
holy religious men, by the way of Venice, into France. St. Lewis, with the queen's mother, his brother, 
and many prelates and princes, met it five leagues beyond Sens. The pious king, and Robert of Artois, 
his second brother, being barefoot and in their shirts, carried it into that city to the cathedral of St. Ste- 
phen, accompanied by a numerous procession, bathed in tears, which the sentiments of gratitude and reli- 
gion drew from their eyes. It was thence conveyed to Paris, where it was received with extraordinary so- 
lenndiy. St. Lewis built the Holy Chapel, as it is called, for its reception, and annexed thereto a rich 
foundation of a chapter of canons. He afterwards received from Constantinople the large portion of the 
cross which St. Helena had sent thither to her son, and other precious relics, with which she enriched the 
same place. Some thorns have been distributed from this treasure to other churches ; and some have been 
made in imitation of them. They are usually very long. 

The nails with which Christ was tV.stened on the cross, have been imitated by a like devotion. Calvin 
pretends to reckon fourteen or fifteen held for genuine, but names several never heard of bnt by himself, as 
that of St. Helena in Rome ; for this is the same church with that of the Holy Cross ; one at Sienna ; one 
at Venice ; one in the church of the Carmelites in Paris ; one in the Holy Chapel ; on,e at Draguignan : 
and nobody knows where the village of Tenaille is, where he places another. Some multiplication of 
these nails has sprung from the filings of that precious relic put into another nail made like it, or at least 
from like nails which have touched it. The true nail kept at Rome, in the church of the Holy Cross, 
has been manifestly filed, and is now without a point, as may be seen in all pictures of it. St. Charles of 
BorroniKO, a prelate most rigorous in the appropriation of relics, had many nails made like another which 
is kept at Milan, and distributed them after they had touched the holy na'il. He gave one as a relic to 
king Philip 11. These are all like that of Rome. St. Gregory the Great, and other ancient popes, sent 
raspings of the chains of St. Peter as relics, and sometimes pot something of them into other chains made 
hke them. F, Honore de St. Marie, a judicious critic, relates a late authentic miracle performed by a heart 
made of taffety, in resemblance of the heart of St. Theresa. As to the true nails, St. Helena threw one 
into the Adriatic sea, to lay a violent storm in which she was in danger of perishing, and, according to St. 
Gregory of Tours, it immediately ceased. St. Ambrose (de ob. Theod. n. 47) and others testify, that her 
son, Constantine the Great, fixed one in a rich diadem of pearls, which he wore on the most solemn occa- 
sions ; and that, for a protection in his wars and dangers, he set another in a costly bridle which he used ; 


May 3.] the invention of the holy cross, 229 

The main part of the cross St. Helena enclosed in a silver shrine, and 
committed it to the care of St. Macarius, that it might be delivered down to 
posterity as an object of veneration. It was accordingly kept with singular 
care and respect in the magnificent church which she and her son built in 
Jerusalem. See the lives of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Porphyrins of Gaza, 
&c. St. Paulinus, in his epistle to Severus,'' relates that though chips were 
almost daily cut off from it and given to devout persons, yet the sacred wood 
suffered thereby no diminution. It is affirmed by St. Cyril of Jerusalem, 
twenty-five years after the discovery, that pieces of the cross were spread 
all over the earth : he compares this wonder to the miraculous feeding of 
five thousand men, as recorded in the gospel. Read Gretzer On the Cross. 
The stately church which Constantino the Great built at Jerusalem, the rich 
ornaments of which are mentioned by Eusebius,^ was called The Basilic of 
the Holy Cross, because it possessed this precious treasure ; the keeper of 
which was always a venerable priest. It was shown publicly to the people 
at Easter. The same was also called the church of the sepulchre, or of the 
resurrection ; though this was properly only the title of the holy chapel in 
it, which stood over the sepulchre or cavern in which our Saviour was buri- 
ed, which was in the garden adjoining to Mount Calvary : so that this great 
church covered the sepulchre, and was extended so far on Mount Calvary 
as also to include the rock Golgotha, and the very place where the cross of 
Christ stood at his crucifixion.* This extensive building was enclosed within 
the walls of Jerusalem, when that city was rebuilt. Constantino also built a 
church upon Mount Olivet, over the spot from which our Saviour ascended 
into heaven. This place was venerated by Christians from the very time 
of his death, as much as the fear of their enemies would permit. And this 
may account for the industry of the pagans in filling up the sepulchre or 
cavern with stones, heaping rubbish over it to a considerable height, and 
setting up the most infamous of their idols over it, that the Christians might 
seem to worship a Venus, when they came hither to pay their homage to 
Jesus Christ. We find the Festival of the Invention, or the discovery of the 
Cross, solemnized in the Latin church ever since the fifth or sixth century.f 
The finding of the cross by St. Helena happened in the year of our Lord 
326, in the twenty-first year of Constantino's reign, the thirteenth of the 

4 Ep. 12. 5 Cat. 4, 10, 13. 6 Vit. Constant. 1, 3. 

St. Gregory of Tnurs says that two were employed in it. It seems most probable that there were four 
nails, and that the feet were fastened with two nails apart, and not across with one. The Konians tl.xed 
little broad jiietes of wood on the crosses of malefactors for the feet to rest upon, as Pliny mentions. See 
Lipsiiis, On the Cross. 

The pillar at which onr Lord was scourged, was anciently kept at Jerusalem, with other holy relics, on 
Monnt Sion, as is mentioned by >^t. Creeory Nazianxen, (Or. 1, in .Tulian.) S<t. Paulinus, (ep. 34,) St. Grego- 
ry of Tours, (1. 1, de Glor. Mart. c. 7.) Ven. Bede, (de Locis Sanctis, c. 3,) St. Prndentius, and St. Jeroni. 
It is shown at Rome thniu<!h iron-rails, in a little chapel in the church of St. Praxedes. Over the chapel 
it is written that cardinal .lohn Colunma, apostolic legate in the East, under pupe IJonorius III., brought it 
thither in the year li!-23. The pillar is of gray, or black and white marble, one foot and a half long^ and 
one foot diameter at the bottom, and eight inches at the top, where is an iron ring to which criminals were 
tied. Some think it is only the upper part of that which St. .lerom mentions : but there appear no marks 
of a fracture. The Jews scourged criminals, first on the back ; then often on tlie belly, and also on both 
sides: which seems to iiave likewise been the Roman custom. 

The blood of Christ which is kept in some places, of which the most famous is that at Mantua, seems to 
be what has sometimes issued from the miraculous Weeding of some crucitix, whi'n pierced in derision by 
Jews or p!igans, instances of which are recorded in authentic histories. See St. Tliomas, 3, p. 54, a. 2, ad 
3, et quodl. .5, a. 5. 

* This sacred building, raised by Constantine, consisted properly of two churches, the one called Anasta- 
sis, or of the Resurrection or Sepulchre, the other Martyrium, or of the {^ross, which covered the spot 
where Christ was crucified. For Adamnan (I. 1, de Locis Sanctis, c. 4, apud Mabill. Act. Bened. Sa3C. 3, 
part 2, p. 50()) testifies, that they were separated by a little court or passage, Plateolam. And St. Jerom 
(Ep. 38, alias 61, ad Pamrnacbium adv. Joan. Hieros. p. 312) says, that as St. Epi'phanius walked from the 
Anasttsis to the Cross, the crowd flocked about him, every one striving to kiss his feet, or touch the hem 
of his garment, and presenting to him their little children to bless. See Sirmondus, in an admirable ex- 
position which he gives of an old medal with the Greek inscription Anastasis, (Op, t. 4, pp. 436 and 704,) 
and Du Cange, (Diss, de Nummis infer, sevi, ^ 66.) Those who, with Honry Valesius, (ep. de Anastasi et 
Martyrio, ad calcem Eusebii, p. 304, ed. 1,) will have these two churches to have been but one and the 
same, must allow that they were only joined by a gallery or court. 

t See the BoUandists, May 3. 



[May 3. 

pontificate of Sylvester, and the first after the council of Nice.* The feast 
of the Exaltation of the Cross was kept in May, from the time that it was 
triumphantly placed by St. Helena in the church at Jerusalem, upon its dis- 
covery in 326, which continued to the year 335, when the great church of 
the Resurrection was built at Jerusalem by the orders of Constantine the 
Great, and dedicated on the 13th of September that year, as St. Sophronius, 
(Or. de Exalt. S. Crucis in Bibl. Patr. Colon, t. 7,) Nicephorus, and the 
Typic of St. Sabas mention. The cross was exalted or set up in that church 
the day following, which was Sunday. Hence both the Greeks and Latins 
kept this feast on the 14th of September ; and St. Chrysostom's death is re- 
lated to have happened on this festival. After the recovery of the cross by 
Heraclius, this festival began to be kept in the Eastern church with greater 
solemnity and a fast. At Jerusalem the cross was shown to the people to 
be adored on Easter Monday, and also in the middle of Lent, as we learn 
from St. Sophronius, St. Paulinus, &c. In the Latin church, this was cele- 
brated on the 3d of May ; whether this was the day of the Discovery of the 
Cross by St. Helena, or of Constantine's vision or victory, or of the dedica- 
tion of the church of the Holy Cross at Rome, is uncertain. 

The cross was chosen by our dear Redeemer to be the glorious instru- 
ment of his victory and triumph over the devil and sin ; and bj^ his death 
thereon he has purchased for us redemption, grace, and glory. The cross 
is his holy standard, under which all his followers fight his battles ; and, 
according to the holy fathers, will be borne before him in a triumphant man- 
ner, when he shall come in glory to-judge the world. The church profess- 
es a very high regard and veneration for this mysterious and salutary sign, 
giving it an honorable place in her churches, making frequent use of it in 
her holy offices, in the administration of the sacraments, and on many other 
occasions : in which particulars she imitates the earliest and purest ages of 
Christianity.^ It is the remark of St. Jerom, " that if the ark was held in 
such high veneration among the Jews, how much more ought the Christians 
to respect the wood of the cross, whereon our Saviour offered himself a 
bleeding victim for our sins ?" By devoutly respecting the sign of the cross, 
we profess our faith in Christ, who v/as crucified for us ; we excite our 
hope in his merits, kindle his love in our breasts, renew the rem^nbrance 
of his sacred death, and inflame our meditations on his adorable passion, in 
which we learn all virtue and all spiritual knowledge. What obedience are we 
here taught! seeing Christ himself learned obedience from these th'mgs which 
he suffered.^ What love of God and our neighbor! seeing Jesus has sprinkled 
his cross with his blood to seal his new alliance of charity, and to inculcate 
his own law and a new commandment. What patience do v/e here learn ! 
What meekness and humility ! the two things which Jesus commands us 
particularly to learn of him. And it is on the cross and in his sacred pas- 
sion that he has principally set us the most moving example, and pressed 
upon us the most endearing precepts of these virtues. Whence, assiduous 

7 See Tert. de Coron. Militis, 

8 Hebr. v. 8. 

* This history of the discovery of the cross, is related by St. CjTil of Jerusalem, and several other au- 
thors above mentioned, who lived in the same age. It is therefore matter of surprise how James Basnage 
could so far forget them as to say, that Gregory of Tours is the first of those who have spoken of it, (Hist, 
de Juifs., c. 14, seel. JO. p. 1344.) It is objected by some, that Eusebius makes no mention of it in his his- 
tory or life of Constantine, though he rie.?cribes at large the buiUhng of the church of the sepulchre. But 
he "is often guilty, like Josephus, of capital omissions in his history, to the great disappointment of liis 
readers. But whether this omission in that place proceeded from carelessness or design, as from jealousy 
or any other motive, his silence ought not to be of any weight against the positive testimonies of so many 
unexceptionable witnesses. Montfaucon also takes notice, that Eusebius himself has clearly mentioned 
this miraculous event, in his comments on Psalm Ix.ixvii. p. 549, v^here he speaks of miracles wrought in 
his time near the sepulchre of Christ, and of the church that was built there by St. Helena. Nor can this 
passage be any more suspected of having been foisted in by interpolation, than that an omission of this 
fact happened in his historical works by the fault of transcribers. Nay, a paragraph might be more easily 
passed over by the fault of copiers. 

May 3.] 



meditation on the sufferings of Christ, is the great school of Christian per- 
fection. All the saints found in it their comfort and their joy ; in it they 
continually feasted their souls with the most sweet fruits of love and devo- 
tion ; in it they learned to die perfectly to themselves, and entered into the 
sentiments of Christ crucified :^ here they stirred up their souls to perfect 
compunction ; and placing themselves in spirit under the cross of their di- 
vine Redeemer, they offered their tears and earnest supplications to the Fa- 
ther, through the Son, who made himself our sacrifice on this tree : / have 
seated myself under the shade of him whom I desired, and his fruit was sweet 
to my palate}" Where did St. Bernard learn his eminent spirit of devotion 
but in the meditation on Christ's sufferings 1 Where did the glorious St. 
Austin glean his spiritual science but, as he himself tells us, in the wounds 
of his Redeemer? It was in them that the admirable St. Francis conceived 
his seraphic ardors. St. Thomas Aquinas studied his sacred science and 
virtue in the book of the cross, and always had recourse to God at the foot 
of the crucifix. " St. Bonaventure seems," says St. Francis of Sales, "when 
he writes the spiritual breathings of his heart, all inflamed with love ; to 
have no other paper than the cross, no other pen than the lance, no other 
ink than what is dipped in the precious blood of Christ. With what feeling 
sentiments did he cry out : It is good always to abide in spirit before the 
cross ! Let us make to ourselves three tabernacles in the wounds of our cru- 
cified Redeemer, one in his feet, another in his hands, a third in his sacred 
side. Here will I rest ; here will I watch; here will I read ; here will I 
converse."" St. Paul, who was very learned, esteemed all his other science 
as nothing, and looked on the knowledge of Jesus Christ crucified as his 
only learning". I judged not myself to know anything among you hut Jesus 
Christ, and him crucified}^ By being instructed in this mystery, and having 
the sentiments of Christ crucified deeply impressed upon his heart, he knew 
all that he wished to know : it was his only solicitude and desire daily to 
improve himself in this one science.* The same apostle, in the transport 
of his ardent love of the cross, cried out : God forbid that I should glory, 
save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ}^ To glory in a thing is to love 
it, to esteem it, to place in it our greatness and happiness. " Every one 
glories in those things in which he places his greatness," as St. Thomas 
says. — The sacred passion of Christ is the source of all our happiness and 
good, and the perfect model and school of all virtue. If it be the tender ob- 
ject of our devotion, if we loVe, and desire always to meditate on our Re- 
deemer crucified for us, the sacred instrument of his triumph, the ensign and 
trophy of his precious victory, and the principal emblem of his sufferings 
which it represents to us, and strongly paints before our eyes, must be al- 
ways dear and most amiable to us. 


He succeeded St. Evaristus in 109, and held the holy see ten years, but 
not complete. He died in 119, and is ranked among the martyrs in the canon 
of the mass. Notwithstanding the silence of St. Irenseus, we also find him 
styled a martyr in the Sacramentary of St. Gregory the Great, in the an- 
cient Calendar of Fronto, and unanimously in other raartyrologies which 

9 Phil. ii. 5. 

11 St. Bonav. 1. de Vita Christi. 

13 Gal. iv. 14. 

10 Cant. ii. 3. 
12 1 Cor. ii. 2. 

* Etsi hoc solum sciebat, nihil est quod nesciebat. 
161, n. 3. 

Magnum est scire Jesum cnicifixum. S. Aug. serm. 



[May 4. 

join with him two companions, Eventius and Theodulus, who suffered with 
him, or at least about the same time of his happy death. The bodies of SS. 
Alexander, Eventius, and Theodulus, were interred on the Nomentan road, 
but were translated into the church of St. Sabina, which now belongs to a 
great convent of Dominican friars. St. Juvenal, the first bishop of Narni, 
in Urabria, who died in peace about the year 367, is commemorated in the 
Roman Breviary on the same day. He is styled a martyr by St. Gregory 
the Great. (Horn. 57, in Evang. and Dial. 1. 4, c. 12.) 



From St. Austin's works, collected byTillemont, t. 8, p. 455, and Berti, 1. de Rebus Gestis S. Aug. Venetiis. 

an. 1756, in App. de S. Monica. 

A. D. 387. 

The church is doubly indebted, under God, to the saint of this day, 
namely, for the birth, and still more so for the conversion of the great St. 
Austin; who was more beholden to St. Monica for his spiritual life by grace, 
than for his corporal life by his birth and education. She was born in 332, 
in a pious family, and early instructed in the fear of God. She often pro- 
fessed her singular obligations to a virtuous discreet maid-servant, whom 
her parents intrusted with the education of their children, and who instilled 
into them maxims of piety, restrained the least sallies of their passions, and 
by her prudence, words, and example, inspired them wath an early sense 
and love of every duty. She was so strict in regard to her charge, that, be- 
sides making them observe great temperance in their meals, she would 
not allow them to drink even water at any other times, how great thirst so- 
ever they might pretend. She used to say : " You are now for drinking 
water, but when you come to be mistresses of the cellar, water will be 
despised, but the habit of drinking will stick by you." Notwithstanding the 
prudent care of this tutoress, the young Monica contracted insensibly an in- 
clination to wine : and when she was sent by her parents, who were stran- 
gers to it, to draw wine for the use of the family, in taking the liquor out with 
a cup, she would put her lips to it and sip a little. This she did at first, not 
out of any intemperate desire of liquor, but from mere youth and levity. 
However, by adding to this little every day a little more, she overcame the 
original reluctance she had to wine, and drank whole cups of it with pleas- 
ure as it came in her way. This was a most dangerous intemperance, though 
it never proceeded to any considerable excess.* God watched over his ser- 
vant to correct her of it, and made use of a servant-maid as his instrument ; 
who, having observed it in her young mistress by following her into the cel- 
lar, words arising one day between them, she reproached her with it, calUng 
her a wine-bibber. This affected Monica in such a manner, that, entering 

* It is a notorious mistake and misrepresentation, to call this fault the crime of drunkenness, though 
such a habit insensibly paves the way to the utmost excesses ; and this danger of a saint ought to he a 
powerful warning to deter all persons, especially servants and young people, from a like custom of sipping, 
how insignificant and trifling soever the first steps to it may appear. If Monica was awakened before she 
was brought to the brink of the precipice, this was the elfect of a singular graCe ; and, where she repented, 
thousands perish, and regardless of every evil, present and future, become the murderers of their bodies, 
their reason, the fortunes of their faiifily, and their immortal souls. This destroying evil arises from small 
beginnings neglected. See Dora. Martenne, in his learned and judicious note on this passage, in the late 
French translation of the Confessions of St. Austin. 

May 4.] s. monica, w. 233 

seriously into herself, she acknowledged, condemned, and from that moment 
entirely corrected her fault. She after this received baptism, from which 
time she lived always in such a manner that she was an odor of edification 
to all who knew her. 

As soon as marriageable, she was disposed of to one Patricius, a citizen 
of Tagaste, a man of honor and probity, but an idolater. She obeyed and 
served him as her master, and labored to gain him to God ; though the chief 
argument she used, whereby to reclaim him from his vices, was the sanctity 
of her conduct, enforced by an obliging, affectionate behavior, by which she 
commanded his love, respect, and esteem. She had by him two sons, Aus- 
tin and Navigius, and one daughter. She tolerated the injuries done by him 
to her marriage-bed, in such a manner as never to make him the least bitter 
reproach on that subject. As on the one side he was very good-natured and 
loving, so, on the other, he was hasty and choleric. Monica never thwarted 
him by the least action or word while she saw him in anger ; but when the 
fit was over and he was calm, she mildly gave him her reasons, and an ac- 
count of her actions. When she saw other wives bearing the marks of their 
husband's anger on their disfigured faces, and heard them blaming their 
roughness of temper or debaucheries, she would answer them : " Lay the 
blame rather on yourselves and your tongues." Her example alone was a 
sufficient proof; for, notwithstanding the passionate temper of her husband, 
it was never known that he ever struck her, or that they had ever, for so 
much as one day, entertained any domestic dissension ; because she bore all 
his sallies with patience, and in silence, made no other return but that of a 
greater obsequiousness, and waited an opportunity to make him sensible of 
his mistake when that was necessary. And as many as followed her advice 
in this respect towards their husbands, rejoiced in the experience of the 
comfort and advantages which accrued to them from their patience and com- 
plaisance ; while those that did not follow it, continued still in their vexa- 
tions and sufferings. One of the happy fruits Monica reaped from her pa- 
tience, was her husband's conversion to Christ ; who, thereupon, became 
chaste, and faithful in all the duties of a good Christian ; he died the year 
after he had been baptized. By mildness she also gained, both to her own 
interest and to Christ, her froward mother-in-law. Our saint had an excel- 
lent talent at making peace among neighbors, when any falling out had hap- 
pened among them : on which occasion, such was the energy and the spirit 
of tender charity with which she delivered herself, that she seemed instructed 
by her interior Master in what she said. It was her great delight to serve 
the poor, supplying their wants with cheerfulness and liberality. She as- 
sisted daily at the holy oblation of the altar, and never failed to go to church 
twice a day, morning and night, to assist at public prayer, and the dispensa- 
tion of the divine word, having eternity always in her thought. She studied 
to imitate the actions of the saints, who were in possession of immortal bliss : 
and, full of confidence in their intercession, she often visited the tombs of 
the martyrs.' She well knew that, in matters relating to religion and a 
Christian life, nothing should be looked upon as trifling and insignificant ; 
and that the least actions become great when done for God, and with great 
fervor. Her exercises of piety did not hinder her attention in watching over 
the education of her children, in which God Almighty gave her great ocaa- 
sion of merit and suffering, particularly in Austin, that he might more amply 
crown her care in the end. He was born in November, 354. As he grew 
up, she endeavored continually to instil into him sentiments of piety ; but 
fell into an unperceived passion and immoderate desire that he should excel 

1 S. Aug. Conf. 1. 6, c. 2 

VOL. 11. — 30 

234 ST. MONICA, w. [May 4. 

in learning ; though she flattered herself that she regarded this only as 
a means whereof he might one day make a good use to the honor of God. 
Her husband earnestly desired the same thing, because he looked upon it as 
the greatest step whereby his son could raise himself in the world. In his 
infancy she had ranked him among the catechumens ; and once in an ill- 
ness, all things were prepared for his baptism, but it was deferred. 

Patricius died about the year 371. Austin, who was then seventeen 
years of age, still continued his studies at Carthage, where, in 373, he 
was seduced by the Manichees, and drawn into that heresy.^ Monica, 
being informed of his misfortune, grieved more bitterly for his spiritual 
death than worldly mothers do when they see their children carried to their 
graves ; nor would she suffer him to live under the same roof with her, or 
to eat at the same table. "You have heard her vows," says St. Austin, 
addressing himself to God, " and you have not despised her tears ; for she 
shed torrents in your presence, in all places where she offered to you her 
prayer." His divine Majesty was pleased to give her an assurance that 
she was heard, by a dream, in which she seemed to herself standing on a 
rule of wood, very sorrowful ; and that a young man, shining with light, 
asked her the cause of her grief, and bade her dry up her tears, saying : 
"Your son is with you." Then casting her eyes towards the place he 
pointed at, she saw Austin standing on the rule with her. She told her son 
this dream, and upon his inferring from it that she should come over to his 
sentiments in matters of religion: " No," said she, "it was not told me that 
I was with you, but that you were with me." This her quick answer made 
a great impression on her son, who after his conversion considered it as a 
divine admonition. She was so much comforted by it, that she again per- 
mitted him to eat and live with her. This happened about the end of the 
year 377 ; almost nine years before his conversion, in August, 386. During 
all this time the holy widow continued her prayers for his conversion, and 
her sighs and tears, which nothing but his baptism at Milan could dry up. 
She engaged virtuous and learned prelates to speak to him. One who had 
himself been brought up a Manichee, and had been converted by reading 
their own books, excused himself, saying : " The heart of the youth was 
yet too indocile, but that God's time would come." She urged him with 
the greater importunity : at last the good old bishop answered her: " Go : 
contmue to do as you do ; it is impossible that a child of such tears should 
perish :" which words she received as an oracle from heaven. Austin was 
twenty-nine years old when he determined to go to Rome, with a view to 
teach rhetoric. She endeavored to divert him from such a design, fearing 
it might delay his conversion, and followed him to the seaside, resolving 
either to bring him back, or to bear him company into Italy. He feigned 
he had no intention to go, that he might rid himself of her importunity. But 
while she passed the night in a chapel of St. Cyprian, in the neighborhood, 
he secretly set out. " I deceived her with a he," says St. Austin, " while 
she was weeping and praying for me : and what did she ask of you, my God, 
but that you would not suff"er me to sail away ? But you graciously heard 
her main desire, namely, that I might be engaged in your service, and re- 
fused to grant what she asked then, in order to give what she always asked." 
Next morning, coming to the seaside and finding him gone, she was seized 
with a grief not to be expressed. God, by this extreme affliction, would 
punish her too human tenderness ; and his wisdom suff'ered her son to be 
carried by his passions to the place where he had decreed to heal them. 
Upon his arrival at Rome, he fell dangerously sick ; and he attributes bis 

a Conf. 1. 3, c. 4. 

May 4.] 


recovery to the prayers of his mother, though she did not then know his 
situation : out of a favorable regard to whose petitions God would not cut 
him off in his impenitence. From Rome he went to teach rhetoric at Milan, 
in 384, and being convinced by St. Ambrose of the errors of his sect, re- 
nounced that heresy, yet without being fixed in the truth ; continuing his 
search after it in a fluctuating state of mind. Monica followed him, and 
in a great storm at sea comforted the sailors, assuring them, from a vision, 
that they would certainly reach the port. Finding him at Milan, she learn- 
ed from his own mouth that he was no longer a Manichee : but she redou- 
bled her tears and prayers to God to obtain his thorough conversion. She 
respected St. Ambrose as the spiritual physician of his soul ; and was her- 
self wonderfully delighted with hearing his solid and beautiful discourses. 
St. Ambrose forbid at Milan the custom of carrying bread and wine to the 
tombs of the martyrs ; and Monica, going thither with her offerings, was 
stopped by the porter : and being informed that the custom had been forbid, 
she was more ready to condemn the practice in the simplicity of obedience, 
than to inquire into the reasons of the prohibition. She therefore was con- 
tent to carry to those holy places a heart full of pure and religious disposi- 
tions, reserving her alms for other occasions. To satisfy her scruple, St. 
Austin consulted St. Ambrose on the fast of the Saturday. She had been 
used to keep fast on that day, according to the custom of the church of Ta- 
gaste, which was also that of Rome, but at Milan this fast was not observed. 
She was therefore in doubt what she ought to do. The answer of St. Am- 
brose, taken into the canon law, was : " When I am here, I do not fast on 
the Saturday ; but I fast when I am in Rome ; do you the same, and follow 
always the custom and discipline of the churches where you are :" which 
precept she obeyed. She had the joy to see St. Austin perfectly converted 
in August, 386. She had contrived a good match for him, which might be 
a bar against any relapse into his former disorders, but understood from him, 
with great satisfaction, that he was resolved to embrace a state of perpetual 
continency. When the vacation of the schools, during the vintage, came 
on, St. Austin retired with his friends to a country house. His mother ac- 
companied them, and had a great^ share in their learned entertainments ; in 
which she, by her natural genius and constant conversation with God, 
showed an extraordinary penetration and judgment. St. Austin has pre- 
served many of her ingenious and pious reflections ; the first he sometimes 
compares with the finest strokes of TuUy and Hortensius, in his books, On 
Order, and in that On a Happy Life. 

St. Austin was baptized at Easter, in 387, with some of his friends, with 
whom he continued to live some time. St. Monica took as much care of 
them all as if they had been her children, and paid them all a deference as 
if each of them had been her father. They all' set out together for Africa ; 
but lost St. Monica on the road, who fell sick and died at Ostia, where they 
were to embark. Before her illness, conversing there with her son Austin 
concerning eternal happiness, and the contempt of this world, she said to 
him : " Son, there is nothing now in this life that affords me any delight. 
What have I to do here any longer, or why I am here, I know not : all my 
hopes in this world being now at an end. The only thing for which I de- 
sired to live was that I might see you a Catholic and child of heaven. God 
has done much more, in that I see you now despising all earthly felicity, 
and entirely devoted to his service. What further business then have I 
here?" Another day, entertaining herself with her friends in the same 
place, she spoke so well on the happiness of death, as much surprised them : 
and being asked if she was not afraid to be buried in a place so far from 
her own country, she answered : " Nothing is far off from God. Neither 



[May 4. 

do I need to fear that God will not find my body to raise it with the rest." 
Five days after this she was seized with a fever ; and one day, being worse 
than ordinary, she swooned away, and was for a little while insensible.^ 
Her two sons ran to her. When she came to herself, awaking as it were 
out of a profound sleep, she said to them : " Here you shall bury your mo- 
ther." Austin stood silent ; Navigius wished that she might not die abroad, 
but in her own counry : but she, checking him with her eyes, said to them : 
" Lay this body anywhere ; be not concerned about that. The only thing 
I ask of you both is, that you make remembrance of me at the altar of the 
Lord wheresoever you are."* Her distemper growing stronger upon her, 
she suffered much ; and on the ninth day of her illness, in the fifty-sixth 
year of her age, and of our Lord 387, that religious and pious soul was 
loosed from the body. St. Austin, who was then thirty-three years of age, 
closed her eyes ; and though his grief was extreme, restrained his tears and 
those of his son Adeodatus, thinking that weeping did not become the fu- 
neral of her, who neither died miserably, nor at all as to her principal and 
better part. The corpse was carried to the church, and when it was set 
down by the grave, according to the custom of the place, the sacrifice of our 
ransom was offered for her. St. Austin had hitherto held in his tears ; but 
calling to mind, when alone, her holy and pious conversation towards God, 
and her tender and affectionate love and care of her children, of which she 
was so suddenly deprived, he gave free scope to his tears. He adds : " If 
any one think it a sin that I thus wept for my mother some small part of an 
hour ; and a mpther who many years had wept for me, that I might live to 
thy eyes, Lord : let him not deride me for it ; but rather, if his charity be 
great, let him weep also for my sins before thee." He prays for her in his 
confessions, and beseeches God to inspire all who shall read his book, to 
remember at the altar Monica and Patricius. He says : " I pray for the 
sins of my mother : hear me by the remedy of our wounds, who hung on 
the cross, and sitting on the right hand, intercedes for us. I know^ she 
showed mercy, and forgave from her heart all debtors : forgive her also her 
debts. "t Her body was translated from Ostia to Rome, in 1430, under 
pope Martin V., and remains there in the church of St. Austin. The his- 
tory of this translation of the relics of St. Monica to Rome, with an ac- 
count of several miraculous cures with which it was honored, is given by 
pope Martin V. himself.^ Some pretend this to be the body of St. Prima ; 
and that the remains of St. Monica are kept at Arouaise, a convent of regu- 
lar canons near Bapaume, in Hainault, whence the head was translated to 
the church of St. Amatus in Douay.| But the latter seems to be the body 

3 St. Aug. Conf. 1. 9, c. 11, 12, 13. 

4 Martin V. Sernio ad Fratres Augustinienses de Translatione corporis S. Monicae Ostia Romani, printed 
at Rome in 1586 ; also in an express bull, published with the usual solemnities, in 1430, iStc. See Berti de 
S. Monica, c. 7, 8, 9, 10. 

* Tantuiii illud vos rogo, ut ad Domini altare memineritis mei ubi fueritis, Conf. I. 9, c. 11. 

t Nunc pro peccatis matris me;e deprecor te : exaudi me permedicinam vulnerum nostrorum quK pepen- 
dil in ligno, et sedens ad dexteram tijam te interpellat pro nobis. Scio misericorditer operatam, et ex corde 
diiuisisse debita debitoribus suis ; diinitte illi debita sua, si qua contraxit per tot annos post aquam salutis. 
Dimitte, Domine, dimitte obsecro ; neintres cum ea in jndicium; promisisti niisericordibUs misericordiam, 
&c. Non ista mandavit nobis, sed tantutnmodo meraoriam sui ad altare tuum fieri desideravit, cui nul- 
lius diei prstermissione servivit, unde sciret dispensari victiraara sanctam qua deletum est chirographum 
quoderat contrarium nobis. Conf. 1. 9, c. 13. 

i Walter, a canon regular of Arouaise, relates, that in 1162, he brought thither the relics of St. Monica, 
called by the Latins Prima, found in a brick sepulchre at old Ostia, nearer the sea than the present ruins 
of Ostia. Henschenius and Papebroke maintain this relation true and genuine. But it depends on the sin- 
gle testimony of an unknown person ; and the narrative betrays itself. Ostia was built by Ancus Martius, 
thirteen miles from Rome, where the Tiber divides itself into two channels, where it has always stood, 
though now its ruins only remain. Monica in Greek does not signify Prima, but Unica or Solitaria. W^al- 
ter lells us that pope Adrian died in 1 101, whereas his death happened in 1159, when Alexander III. suc- 
ceeded him. Walter probably mistook the sepulchre of St. Prima for that of St. Monica. See Berti de Re- 
bus Gestis S. Aug. Comm. de S. Monici, c. 11, 12, p. 254. If those who, upon the credit of Walter, 
take the relics of St. Prima for those of St. Mcmica, are mistaken, they cannot be charged with supersti- 

May 4.] s. godard, b. c. 237 

of St. Prima, whom Walter, who conveyed this treasure from Ostia into 
the Low Countries, in 1162, imagined to be the same person with St. Mo- 
nica ; though her body remained long after at Ostia. 

St. Monica, by her earnestness to gain her son to God, is the model of 
good mothers. She was persuaded that he did not live ; nay, that his state 
was infinitely more miserable than if he had had no existence, so long as he 
lived not to him who made him, and who was his only happiffess, and his 
last end, as she proved to him with admirable penetration, from the princi- 
ples of sound philosophy, in a conference with him and his friends soon 
after his conversion ; of which, to the honor of her memory, he has pre- 
served us a part in one of his works. Her perseverance in tears and prayers 
for his conversion could not fail of success, being supported by fervor, per- 
fect purity of intention, and sanctity of life, and accompanied with all pru- 
dent measures which it was in her power to take for bringing him to his 
duty. In vain some mothers flatter themselves that by their long devotions 
they satisfy this difficult obligation : they are bound also to watch continual- 
ly over their children, to give and procure them constant instructions, set be- 
fore them good example, and to use, when necessary, reprimands and cor- 
rection, which must be tempered with mildness and affection, be seasonably 
employed at the times when likely to take best effect, and must always be 
free from the least motion or appearance of passion. This condition can 
only be observed by those who have obtained an entire mastery over them- 
selves. Pride and self-love are always impatient, and sure to show them- 
selves on such occasions : and wherever they appear, instead of healing a 
heart already disordered, they usually inflame and increase the evil. Mo- 
nica converted Patricius, and made a deep impression upon the heart of 
Austin in the midst of his disorders, because her remonstrances were free 
from this fault. If the instructions and watchfulness of a St. Monica could 
not preserve Austin from the snares of bad company, what precautions are 
not parents bound to take to keep unexperienced youth from the possibility 
of falling upon this most fatal rock ! 


He was a native of Bavaria, and abbot of Altaich, in that country, and 
reformed likewise the abbeys of Hersfeld, in Hesse, of Tergensee, in the 
diocese of Frisinguen, and of Chremsmunster, in that of Passaw. In 1021, 
the episcopal chair of Hildesheim failing vacant by the death of St. Bern- 
ward, St. Godard was compelled by St. Henry to take upon him that pas- 
toral charge. The relief of the poor, both spiritual and temporal, was every- 
where the first object of his attention. He died on the 4th of May, 1038, 
and was canonized by Innocent II. in 1131. Many places in Germany ac- 
knowledge him patron, and several bear his name. See his life by Wolf- 
hert, his disciple, in Henschenius, p. 501, and in Mabillon : and more at 
large, with long histories of miracles, among the writers of the history of 
the most illustrious house of Brunswick-Hanover, t. 2, p. 483. Several very 
devout epistles of St. Godard, or Godehard, are given us by Dora. Pez, in 
his Cedex Diplomatico-Historico-Epistolaris, p., 133, &c. 

tioii, God in his gervant Monica being the objeet of their devotion : nor are they conscious of any forgery 
in the relic or syinboL 


S. PIUS, p. c. 

[May 5. 



The two original most authentic lives of St. Pius V. are that written by Jerom Catena, secretary to the 
Cardinal of Alexandria, and eonsultor to several congregations in Rome, in Italian, highly approved by 
Sextus v., the other in Latin, by Ant. Gabutio, superior of the Regular Clerks of St. Paul, much com- 
mended by Clement VIII. The titles of these two works are, Hieron. Catena Vita del gloriosissimo 
Papa Pio v., and Raccolta di Littere di Papa Pio V. Gabutii de Vita Pii V. libri t>. Bzovius in his an- 
nals on Pius V. adds to this latter several particulars. See his Pius V., also Archangelo Caraccio, Bre- 
vis Narratio Gestorum Pii V. Minorelli, Ord. Pra;dic. Vita S. Pii V. RoniK, 1712. Apostolicaram Pii 
auinti Epistolarnm lilm 5, opera Fr. Gaubau. Ant. 1649. Paul. Alex. MalTei, Vita di Pio V. FeuiUet, 
Vie du Pape Pie V. Galesini Translatio Corporis Pii V. a Sixto V. celebrata. Agatio di Somma, whose 
Italian life of this saint was translated into French by Dom. Felibien in 1672. Touron, b. 28, t. 4, p. 
306, and the remarks of Henschenius, ad 5 Maij, t. 1, p. 617. 

A. D. 1572. 

Michael Ghisleri, known afterwards by the name of Pius V., was born 
at Bosco, a little town in the diocese of Tortona, on the 27th of January, 
1504. He was descended of a noble Bolognese family, but considerably 
reduced in its splendor and fortunes. In his tender years the most perfect 
maxims of piety were instilled into him, and he never swerved in the least 
from those principles during the whole course of his life. He studied gram- 
mar under the care of the Dominican friars at Voghera ; and giving himself 
up entirely to the most fervent exercises of religion, took the habit of that 
order when he was only fifteen years of age. He was sensible that faint 
and languishing endeavors never deserve to find the inestimable treasure of 
true virtue, which they undervalue ; they are sure to lose ground, and at 
length to yield under the repeated assaults of the enemy : whereas fervor 
breaks down all obstacles in the pursuit of perfection, as so many shadows, 
and courageously marches on, reckoning all labors the sweetest pleasures, 
and esteeming as nothing whatever leads not to this great end. It was the 
young novice's holy ambition to surpass all others in humility, modesty, and 
the exercises of mortification, obedience, and devotion. In every thing he 
did, he set no bounds to the ardor of his desires to please God, and accom- 
plish his holy will in the most perfect manner. Thus all his actions were 
perfect sacrifices of his heart, and the meanest were enhanced by the fer- 
vor of his intention. To his studies he joined assiduous prayer, watching, 
fasting, and the exercises of penance and charity. After the uninterrupted 
fatigue of the day, it v/as his sweet refreshment to pour forth his soul in 
tears and devout prayer or meditation, for several hours before the altar, or 
in his cell. Having prepared himself by a long and fervent retreat, he was 
ordained priest, at Genoa, in 1528. He taught philosophy and divinity six- 
teen years, and was long employed in instructing the novices, and in forming 
them to piety, and in governing different houses of his order : in all which 
offices he labored effectually to revive the spirit of its holy founder^ He 
never accepted of any priory but by compulsion, and with tears. No one 
would he ever allow to absent himself from the choir, or to go out of the 
convent without some urgent necessity. Constant devotion and study he 
called the double breast from which religious persons draw a spiritual nour- 
ishment, which maintains in them the love of God and contempt of the 
world. Though he went often to Milan to hear the confession of the mar- 
quis of Guast, governor of the Milanese, he could never be persuaded to 
buy a cloak to defend him from the rain, saying : " Poor followers of the 

May 5.] s. PIUS, p. c. 239 

gospel ought to be content with one tunic." His journey he performed on 
foot, in recollection and strict silence, unless he opened his mouth to speak 
to his companion something on God. Pope Paul IV., in 1556, promoted 
him to the united bishoprics of Nepi and Sutri, in the ecclesiastical state, 
notwithstanding the tears he shed in endeavoring most earnestly to decline 
that dignity. Under his care these dioceses soon assumed a new face. In 
1557, he was created cardinal by the same pope, under the title of St. Mary 
upon the Minerva, though generally known by that of the Alexandrian car- 
dinal, from Alexandria, a city in Lombardy, a few miles distant from the 
place of his birth. His dignities served to render his humility and other 
virtues more conspicuous, but produced no alteration in his furniture, table, 
fasts, or devotions. He was most scrupulously cautious in the choice of his 
few necessary domestics, admitting none but persons of most exemplary 
piety, and he treated them as his children rather than as his servants. Pope 
Paul IV. dying in 1559, he was succeeded by Pius IV., of the family of 
Medicis, who translated our good cardinal to the bishopric of Mondovi, in 
Piedmont, a church reduced by the wars to a deplorable and calamitous 
condition. The saint hastened to his new flock; and by his zealous exhor- 
tations and other endeavors, re-established peace and union, reformed abu- 
ses, and restored the splendor of that church. But an order of his holiness 
recalled him to Rome for the dispatch of certain public affairs of the church. 
When Pius IV. proposed to the sacred college the promotion of prince Fer- 
dinand of Medicis, only thirteen years old, to the dignity of cardinal, our 
saint opposed the motion with such vigor, that he made himself admired by 
the whole consistory for his zeal and prudence. The emperor Maximilian 
II. wrote to pope Pius IV. to desire that priests might be allowed to marry, 
as a means that might facilitate the return of the modern sectaries to the 
communion of the church. The whole sacred college saw the inconve- 
niences of such an abolition of the most holy and ancient canons ; but none 
spoke more vigorously against it than our saint. Though charity will al- 
low all condescension that is possible, here it seemed very unseasonable, 
on many accounts, to abandon so sacred a spiritual law ; and this in favor 
of men who had shown no disposition towards a reconciliation with the 
Catholic church, except she would give up many other points, not only of 
discipline, but also of her faith and doctrine. 

Pope Pius IV., after a tedious illness, expired in the arms of St. Charles 
Borromeus, on the 9th of December, 1565, having filled the chair almost six 
years. St. Charles, when he saw that the pious cardinal Sirlet, who was 
first proposed, could not be chosen, united the suff"rages of the conclave in 
favor of our saint, testifying an entire confidence in his virtue. All others 
applauded the choice, except the pope elect ; who, having in vain opposed 
it by tears and entreaties, at length, for fear of resisting the call of God, 
gave his consent, on the 7th of January, 1566, and took the name of Pius. 
The largesses usually bestowed by the popes, at their coronation, on the 
people of Rome, he converted into alms, to avoid the disorders of intemper- 
ance, &c., to which they are liable. He accordingly directed the sums 
usually expended on such occasions, to be distributed among the poor in the 
hospitals and elsewhere. He, in like manner, sent to the poorer convents 
in the city the thousand crowns usually employed in an entertainment for the 
cardinals, ambassadors, and lords who assisted at the ceremony. His first 
care was to regulate his family in such a manner, that it might be a model 
of virtue, and he induced the cardinals to do the like in their respective 
houses. He forbade the public exhibition of the sights of wild beasts, as 
savoring too much of inhumanity ; and published very severe regulations 
against excesses in taverns, and against detraction committed in public as- 


S. PITTS, P. C. 

[May 5. 

semblies, and re-established a strict observance and execution of the laws. 
By rigorous edicts, he banished numbers of lewd women under pain of cor- 
poral punishment, if found afterwards within the city : others he confined to 
an obscure part of Rome, under the same penalty if they were seen else- 
where. He said mass every day, (and usually with tears,) unless hindered 
by sickness ; he made daily two meditations on his knees before a crucifix, 
and called prayer the comfort and support of a pastor amidst the hurry of af- 
fairs. His tenderness for the poor and his charities are not to be expressed : 
but nothing appeared more admirable in him than his sincere and profound 
humility. An English Protestant gentleman was converted, by seeing the 
condescension and affection with which he kissed the ulcers of the feet of 
a certain poor man. His rigorous fasts' and abstemiousness he would scarce 
ever mitigate, even on account of sickness. He published the catechism, 
and the decrees of the council of Trent, which he labored strenuously to 
carry into immediate execution ; and made many other useful regulations, 
extending his solicitude to every part of Christendom, particularly the east- 
ern missions. He generously assisted the knights of Malta, when they were 
besieged by the most formidable armies of the Turks, and by his liberalities 
enabled them to repair their breaches after their victories, and to build the 
new impregnable city of Valette, in 1566.* The rebellion raised in France 

* The knights of Malta, or of St. John of Jerusalem, were originally called knights-hospitallers, insti- 
tuted by certain merchants of Amalphi, in the kingdom of Naples, who, trading in the Levant, obtained 
leave of the Caliph of the Saracens to build a house at Jerusalem, for themselves and pilgrims, on paying 
an annual tribute. Soon after, they founded a church in honor of St. John Baptist, with a hospital for 
sick pilgrims, from which they took their name. The valiant and most pious prince, Godfrey of Bouillon, 
who took Jerusalem, in 1099, exceedingly favored these hospitallers, who, in tlie reign of Baldwin I., king 
of Jerusalem, in 1104, added to their three religious vows another, by which they obliged themselves to 
defend the pilgrims in the Holy Land from the insults of the Saracens. From that time they became a 
military order of knights, and wore for their badge a cross, with eight points. In 1187, Saladin, the Caliph 
of Syria and Egypt, wrested Jerusalem, for the last time, from the Christians, after the kingdom of the 
Latins had maintained itself there eighty-nine years, under eight kings. The knights retired to Aeon, or 
Acre, anciently called Ptoleraais, on the sea-coast in Palestine, till that strong fortress was taken by storm 
by the Saracens, in 1291. From which time they resided in Cyprus, till, in 1310, they gallantly took Rhodes 
from those infidels, and the year following defended it against their furious assaults, being relieved by the 
seasonable succors brought by the brave Amedeus IV., count of Savoy. The Turks having vanquished 
the Saracens, and embraced their superstition, and Mahomet II. having taken Constantinople by storm, in 
1453, under Constantine Paleologus, the last Grecian emperor, these knights became more than ever the 
bulwark of Christendom. Under the conduct of the valiant grand master, Aubusson, in 1480, they bravely 
defended their isle for two months against the victorious army, of above one hundred thousand men, of 
Mahomet H., the greatest warrior of all the Turkish emperors, who conquered the two empires of Con- 
stantinople and Trebizonde, twelve kingdoms, and two hundred cities. Bitt Solyman II., surnamed the 
Magnificent, after a gallant defence made by the knights, rendered himself master of this strong fortress by 
the treachery of the chancellor of the order, in 1522; and the grand master. Villiers I'Isle-Adam, after 
prodigies of valor, was obliged to seek a new retreat. The emperor Charles V. gave the knights the isle 
of Malta, in 1530. Solyman II., in 1566, bent the whole strength of his empire against this small island ; 
but after a vigorous siege of four months his army was shamefuUy repulsed by the most memorable defence 
that is recorded in history, under the conduct of the grand master Jol(n de Valette, assisted by the munifi- 
cence chiefly of pope PiusV. The Turks retreated with eighty thousand men, when the grand master had 
only si.\ thousand. The knights of this order are obliged to make proof of their being nobly descended for 
four generations, both by the father and mother's side, and upon their admission pay two hundred and 
fifty crowns in gold to the treasury of the order. They make the three religious vows, consequently can 
never marry; and add a fourth, never to make peace with the infidels. They observe certain constitutions 
borrowed from the rule of the regular canons of St. Austin. Formerly this order consisted of eight lan- 
guages or nations ; but the English, which was the sixth, was extinguished by king Henry VIII. Each 
language Is divided into certain grand priories; and every grand priory into several commanderies. Servant- 
knights prove their nobility; but not for four descents. The chaplains must also be of noble extraction. 
The Bonnes or Demi-Crosses are not strictly members of the body : may marry, and wear a gold cross of 
three branches ; those of the knights having four. The grand master is chosen by the priors. There are 
servants of the office who are employed in the hospitals. The chief enil of this military order is todefejid 
the innocent, and protect and cover Christendom from the insults of the Mahometans ; in imitation of the 
Maccabees, who with the zeal of martyrs defended the people of God in the old law. 

Raymund du Puy was the first grand master after they commenced knights. He drew tip the statutes of 
the order, and died in 1160. Several saints which this order has produced are honored at Malta; on whom 
see Le Martyrologe des Chevaliers de Malte, par M. Goussancour, two tomes. And as to its many great 
heroes, and the glorious military exploits achieved by them, read the history of JIalta by Abbe Vertot, 
though in this he has not equalled the reputation of his other works, and has failed not only in the style, 
but also in sentiments and exactitude. 

The knights of Malta are obliged, after their profession, to wear a white cross or star with eight points, 
sewed on the left side of their cloak or coat. But before their vows, they wear a gold cross, with eight 
points, enamelled with white, hanging at a black riband. The knights may defer their vows, and seldom 
make them till sure of a commandery. The languages of Malta now subsisting are called, of Provence, 
Auvergne, France, Italy, Aragon, Germany, and Castile. France alone having three languages, it is the 
most powerful in the order. In Spain other ndlitary religious orders flourish, as those of Alcantara and 
Calatrava, instituted upon the taking of those towns from the Moors ; they are subject to the Cistercian 
rule, but the knights are not hindered by their vow from marrying once. In Portugal that of Avis is 

iMAY 5.] 


under Charles IX. obliged him to exert his vigilance in protecting the city 
and territory of Avignon against the stratagems of Coligny. He purged the 
ecclesiastical state of assassins and robbers, but rejected the perfidious pro- 
posal of one who offered to invite the chief captain of the robbers to dinner, 
and then to deliver him up. His severity, which was necessary for the public 
tranquillity, did not make him forget that mercy, wherever it can be allowed to 
take place, is to be the favorite inclination of a disciple of Christ. A certain 
Spaniard had composed a bitter and seditious pasquinade, fdled with notorious 
slanders against his holiness, for which the magistrate had confiscated his estate, 
and condemned him to death : but the pope granted him a free pardon, with this 
mild request, that when he should see him fall into any fault, he would admonish 
him of it. By a bull dated the 1st of October, 1567, he condemned several 
erroneous propositions ascribed to Michael Baius of Lovain, some of which 
that doctor denied to have been advanced by him, others he with great hu- 
mility retracted. To recompense the zeal of Cosmus of Medicis, duke of 
Florence, he granted him by a bull the title of grand duke, and crowned 
him as such at Rome in 1569, though the emperor refused for some time to 
acknowledge that new title. By a great number of wise regulations he en- 
deavored to extirpate various scandals and abuses : in a brief, by which he 
strongly enforces the canons relating to the respect due to holy places, 
among other things, he forbids any either to give or ask an alms in churches, 
but only at the doors ; which is commanded by several councils, to prevent an 
occasion of distractions and an abuse contrary to the silence and respect due 
to the house of prayer. Certain privileges granted to particular confraterni- 
ties, seem to have given occasion in some places to too great a neglect of 
these wholesome and necessary canons. 

Notwithstanding his attention to the public affairs, the good pope did not 
forget that the exercises of an interior life are the means by which our souls 
must maintain and improve the spirit of holy charity, and by it sanctify our 
exterior actions. Prayer and holy meditation were his delight ; for he well 
knew that the fire of charity will soon be extinguished in the heart unless it 
be continually nourished by new fuel. St. Pius joined to prayer assiduous 
mortification, and large alms. He often visited the hospitals, washed the 
feet of the poor, kissed their ulcers, comforted them in their sufferings, and 
disposed them for a Christian death. He gave twenty thousand crowns of 
gold to the hospital of the Holy Ghost, and great and frequent charities to 
other hospitals ; he founded a distribution of dowries for the marriage of 
poor women, and made many most useful pious foundations to perpetuate 
the honor of God and the salvation of souls, particularly for the instruction 

likewise under the Cistercian rule : it was re-established after the victory of Evora over the Moors, and 
confirmed by Innocent IV. in 1234. 

The knights templars, of whom we sometimes make mention. Were instituted by seven gentlemen at 
Jerusalem, in 1118, to defend the holy places and pilurims from the insults of the Saracens, and keep the 
passes free for such as undertook the voyage of the Iluly Land. They took their name from the first hojise 
which was given them by king Baldwin II., situated near the place where anciently the temple of Solomon 
stood. By the liberality of princes, inunense riches suddenly flowed into this order, by which the knights 
were pufied up to a degree of insolence which rendered Iheni'insupportabloeven to the "kings who had been 
their protectors ; and Philip the Faii-, king of France, resolved to compass their ruin. They were accused 
of treasons and conspiracies with the infidels, and of other enormous crimes, which occasioned the sup- 
pression of the order by a decree of pope Clement V. and the general council of Vienne, in 1312. The year 
following, the grand master, who was a Frenchman, was burnt at Paris, and several others suffered death, 
though they all with their l:ist breath protested their innocence as to the crimes that were laid to their 
charge. These were certainly much exaggerated by their enemies, and doubtless many innocent men were 
involved with the guilty. A great part of their estates was given to the knights of Rhodes or Malta. 

The Teutonic knights owe their establishment to certain German gentlemen from Bremen and Lubec, at 
the siege of Aeon or Acre in Palestine, who instituted this order in imitation of the knights templars and 
hospitallers. It was approve.! by Calixtus It. in 1192. The Teutonic knights conquered, in- 1250, the infi- 
dels of Prussia, whom the Polanders had not been able to subdue, and built the cities of Elbing, Marien- 
bourg. Thorn, Dantzic, and Koningsbiirg. The Poles disputed several of these territories with them. At 
length Albert, marquis of Brandenbourg, grand master, embracing Lutheranism with several of the knights 
quitted the title of grand master, and drove the order out of Prussia, which he left to the house of Branden- 
bourg. From which time the order is reduced to a few poor commanderies, and the grand master resides 
at Margentheim or Mariendal in Fianconia. 

VOL. II. 31 


S. PIUS, p. c. 

[May 5. 

of youth in the Christian doctrine, which he earnestly recommended to all 
pastors by an express bull, in 1571. In the time of a great famine in 
Rome, he imported corn at his own expense from Sicily and France, to the 
value of above one hundred thousand gold crowns ; a considerable part of 
which he distributed among the poor, gratis, and sold the rest to the public 
much under prime cost. Frugal in all things that regarded himself, he was 
enabled by his good economy to make many useful foundations for promoting 
virtue and religion, and to relieve the distressed by incredible general alms- 
deeds and public benefactions, exclusively of the large daily demands which 
particular charities made upon him. He was a great encouragerof learning 
and learned men ; and to him the schools are indebted for the most accurate 
edition of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, which appeared in 1570. He 
wrote to queen Mary Stuart, in 1570, to comfort her during her long impris- 
onment suffered for religion. 

Selimus II., emperor of the Turks, pursuing the ambitious and boundless 
designs of his father Solyman, proposed nothing less to himself than to 
overrun all Christendom with his arms, and to add all the western kingdoms 
to his empire. Though he was himself an effeminate tyrant, enervated by 
drunkenness and debaucheries, he was long successful in his wars, by the 
conduct of veteran soldiers and experienced generals who had been trained 
up by his warlike father. Flushed with victories and elated with pride, 
when Italy was afflicted with a famine, and the great arsenal of Venice had 
been lately almost entirely destroyed by a dreadful fire, he haughtily de- 
manded of that republic the peaceable surrender of the isle of Cyprus, by 
way of satisfaction for pretended injuries ; though in reality for the sake of 
its excellent wine, with which liquor he was extremely besotted, though 
forbidden by the Koran, threatening that in case of refusal he would force it 
from them. Having all things in readiness beforehand, the infidels imme- 
diately invaded the island, took Nicosia by storm, in 1570, after a siege of 
forty-eight days, and in 1571, Famagusta by capitulation, after having bat- 
tered that city with above 1,500,000 cannon shot, during a siege of seventy- 
five days. Notwithstanding the articles of an honorable capitulation had 
been ratified by the most solemn oaths, the Bashaw Mustapha, by an unheard- 
of treacherous perfidy, put to most cruel deaths all the brave Venetian 
officers of the place ; and caused the valiant Venetian governor Brigadin, 
after cutting ofi' his ears and nose, with a thousand insults, blasphemies, and 
torments continued or repeated for many days, to be flayed alive in the 
market-place : all which he suffered with admirable patience, and in great 
sentiments of piety, expiring when his skin was torn off to his waist. 
Alarmed at the danger which threatened all Christendom, St. Pius entered 
into a league with Philip II., king of Spain, and the Venetians, in order to 
check the progress of the Mahometans ; the other Christian princes excu- 
sing themselves from acceding to it, on account of domestic broils. This 
alliance was ratified in May, 1571 ; and to avoid occasions of dissension 
among the princes that were engaged, the pope was declared chief of the 
league and expedition, who appointed Mark Antony Colonna general of 
his galleys, and Don John of Austria generalissimo of all the forces. The 
army consisted of twenty thousand good soldiers, besides seamen ; and the 
fleet of one hundred and one great galleys, some tall ships, and a considera- 
ble number of galliots and small vessels. The pope, together with his 
apostolic benediction, sent to the general a prediction of certain victory, 
with an order to disband all soldiers who seemed to go only for the sake of 
plunder, and all scandalous and riotous persons, whose crimes might draw 
down the divine indignation upon their arms. 

The Christians sailed directly from Corfu, and found the Turkish fleet at 

May 5.] 

S. PIUS, P, c. 


anchor in the harbor of Lepanto. As soon as the Turks saw the Christian 
fleet so near, they reinforced their troops from the land, and sailed out in 
order of battle. Don John kept the centre, and had for seconds Colonna 
and the Venetian general Venieri : Andrew Doria commanded the right 
wing, and Austin Barbarigo the left. Peter Justiniani, who commanded the 
galleys of Malta, and Paul Jourdain, were posted at the extremities of this 
line. The marquis of Sainte Croix had a body of reserve of sixty vessels 
ready to sustain or relieve any part in danger of being overpowered. John 
of Cordova, with a squadron of eight vessels, scoured before, to spy and 
give intelligence ; and six Venetian galeasses formed an avant-guard to the 
fleet. A little after sunrise the Turkish fleet, consisting of three himdred 
and thirty sail of all sorts, appeared in sight, almost in the same order of 
battle, only, according to their custom, in form of a crescent. They had no 
squadron of reserve, and therefore their line being much wider, they far 
outfronted the Christians, which is a great advantage in battle. Hali was 
in the centre, facing Don John of Austria ; Petauch was his second ; Lou- 
chali and Siroch commanded the two wings, against Doria and Barbarigo. 
Don John gave the signal of battle, by hanging out the banner sent him from 
the pope, on which the image of Christ crucified was embroidered. The 
Christian generals harangued their soldiers in few words, then made a sign 
for prayers ; at which the soldiers fell on their knees before a crucifix, and 
continued in that posture in fervent prayer till the fleets drew near to each 
other, when at a second signal the battle began. The Turks bore down 
with great rapidity on the Christians, being assisted by a brisk gale of wind, 
which promised them the greatest advantage possible, especially as they 
were superior in numbers, and in the extent of their front. But the wind, 
which before was very strong, fell just as the fight began, was succeeded 
by a calm, and this soon after by a high wind, entirely favorable to the 
Christians ; which carried the smoke and fire of their artillery upon the 
enemy, almost blinded them, and at length quite bore them down. The 
battle was most obstinate and bloody, and the victory the most complete that 
ever was gained over the Ottoman empire. After three hours' figh